Lacion bust nets drug, gun-for-hire suspect
Mandaue police scored big in the war against drugs on Tuesday when the drug suspect they arrested in an anti-illegal drug operation allegedly admitted to being a gun-for-hire, who allegedly killed two persons and wounded another one.
Novo Labrada, 34, a resident of Barangay Nangka in Consolacion town in northern Cebu, allegedly admitted to killing three people during tactical interrogation, a few hours after he was arrested in a buy-bust operation at his house, said Senior Insp. Raymund Enriquez, Canduman Police Station chief.
Enriquez led the police team, who coordinated with the Consolacion Police Station and conducted the buy-bust operation that caught Labrada.
Enriquez said that they confiscated two sachets of suspected shabu, a loaded .45 caliber pistol, a digital weighing scale and a motorcycle from Labrada.
The raiding police team also arrested Johanna Ruiz, 30, Labrada’s common-law wife; and Edison Culago, 35, a suspected cohort of Labrada.
Enriquez said that they conducted the operation after receiving information about Labrada’s operation from Labrada’s cohort, Kenneth Seno, who was also a drug suspect arrested in November 2017.
Enriquez said that during their interrogation of Labrada at the Canduman Police Station, the drug suspect claimed that he had killed two persons and wounded one man in the past 11 months.
Enriquez said that Labrada allegedly admitted that he was also a gun-for-hire.
Labrada claimed that he killed Jeffrey Montillano, 38, of Barangay Pulpogan, Consolacion town; and Herbert Rojas, of Labangon, Cebu City; and wounded Roel Mosqueda, 23, resident of Sector 6 Barangay Pagsabungan, Mandaue City.
Enriquez said that Montillano was shot dead last April 12, 2017 in Barangay Polog, Consolacion town while Rojas was killed in Nov. 7, 2017 in Barangay Tabok, Mandaue City.
He said that Mosqueda survived a shooting attack last Feb. 17, 2018 in Barangay Tabok, Mandaue City.
Reasons for shootings
“Nipalit ko nila og shabu pero ang gihatag kay tawas. Ang usa, gipalitan ko og shabu pero bodol money diay ang kwarta. Ang laing usa kay wala mo-remit maong akong gipusil (I bought shabu but I was given ‘tawas.’ Another one did not remit the illegal drug proceeds) ,” said Labrada as the reasons for attacking the three people.
Enriquez said that the shooting attacks that Labrada admitted to were confirmed by witnesses.
Labrada, Ruiz and Culago were detained at the Canduman Police Stationpending the filing of charges.
Enriquez also said that aside from the drug charges that would be filed against Labrada, the suspect would also be facing two murder cases and a frustrated murder case.
Senior Supt. Roberto Alanas, Mandaue City Police Office chief, said with this development, I ordered Enriquez to identify the victims, confirm with witnesses Labrada’s admission of the crime, and inform the families of the victims.
“With the arrest of Labrada, we have solved at least three shooting incidents of which two were murder cases, and we have also neutralized a noted drug pusher and a gun-for-hire group,” said Alanas.
Mandaue Mayor Gabriel Luis “Luigi” Quisumbing commended the police for neutralizing a gun-for-hire group and noted drug personalities.
Quisumbing also said that he would give the police 20 more motorcycles so that they could deter motorcycle-riding criminals from committing crimes in the city.
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