Second councilman killed in Cebu in four days
Despite having surrendered to police and having been warned by Danao City Mayor Ramon Durano III, barangay councilman Amador Capin still reportedly continued dealing in illegal drugs.
Capin’s transaction with an undercover police officer at his home in Barangay Malapoc, Danao City at 11:40 p.m. last Sunday turned out to be his last.
Capin died in what police said was a shootout with members of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, the Danao City police and the Regional Public Safety Battalion.
Capin was the second councilman to be killed in Cebu in four days.
Last Oct. 27, Erwin Sarmiento, a barangay councilman of Jubay in Liloan town, Cebu, was gunned down by two unknown assailants.
Sarmiento was driving his motorcycle along the national highway in Liloan when he was shot down.
A bystander identified as Charise Balberde was hit by a stray bullet on her right thigh.
Sarmiento was linked to the group of suspected drug lord Franz Sabalones and like Capin, surrendered to the authorities prior to his murder.
PO3 Rosell Ocampo of the Danao City police said Capin, a barangay councilor of Guinacot in Danao City, ranked high in their drugs watchlist and was the target of last Sunday’s buy-bust operation.
During the transaction, Capin noticed that he dealt with an undercover cop and ran away.
As he ran, Capin pulled out his pistol tucked in his waist and fired several shots. But he was unable to hit anyone, Ocampo said.
The pursuing operatives fired back, hitting Capin several times.
The police rushed Capin to a hospital in Danao City but he failed to make it.
Recovered from his possession were one .45 pistol and 2.2 grams of shabu worth P25,960.
In text messages sent to Cebu Daily News, Danao City Mayor Ramon Durano III said he learned of Capin’s involvement in illegal drugs from Senior Insp. Alejandro Batobalonos, Danao City police chief, two months ago.
“Batobalonos informed me that as per their intel, Kagawad Capin is the hagbonganan (drop-off) of shabu in the surrounding vicinity of Guinacot, so I told the councilman to appear in my office. I reprimanded him and advised to stop selling shabu,” the mayor said.
Durano said he told Capin to surrender to the police.
“I believe he did not heed my advice but continued with the illegal drug trade,” Durano said.
Ivy Durano-Meca, head of the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (CPADAO), confirmed that Capin surrendered to the police but still continued dealing in drugs.
“The problem of illegal drugs is everybody’s concern. That’s why community support is badly needed. I hope all the government officials will take part in the solution and not in the problem,” Meca said.
Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), said the councilman’s death should warn other government officials and private persons engaged in the illegal drugs trade to stop lest they regret it.
“No one is exempted in our campaign against illegal drugs. Whether you are a politician, a policeman, or whoever you are, if you are involved in the illegal drugs trade, you are among our targets,” he said in an interview yesterday.
Taliño, a former chief of the Special Actions Force, said PRO-7 has a list of local politicians, policemen and other prominent persons involved in the illegal drugs trade.
“Narco-politics is undoubtedly existing in the region. For now, I can’t reveal the names of those on our list, but there are certainly a number of politicians,” Taliño said.
Based on the records of PRO-7, at least 131 drug suspects were killed in police operations while 184 were gunned down by unknown assailants from July 1 to Oct. 28 this year.
Last Oct. 25, ranking officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) along with regional police directors convened at Camp Crame in Quezon City to discuss the implementation of Project Double Barrel Alpha.
The expanded anti-drugs scheme will zero in on hunting down high-value targets, including politicians, celebrities, businessmen, and other prominent personalities who have links to the narcotics trade.
Taliño said police chiefs in Central Visayas will be ousted from their posts if they don’t perform well in the anti-illegal drugs campaign.
Meanwhile, Batobalonos said they arrested a female drug suspect in a drug bust operation in Barangay Dunguan, Danao City at 4 p.m. last Sunday, several hours before the shootout with Capin.
The suspect identified as Marites Dalumpines is under hospital arrest after she crashed her motorcycle while trying to elude pursuing police.
Recovered from her possession were one medium-sized plastic pack and three small sachets believed to contain shabu weighing 10 grams and worth P119,000, P200 in marked money and her red motorcycle.
In Barangay Tangbo, Samboan town, two suspected drug pushers died in a shootout with police at past 8 a.m. yesterday.
Recovered from suspects Romulo Lopez and Anthony Tancio were shabu valued at P271,400.
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