Police now looking into possible affiliation of 3 slain drug suspects to big-time drug groups

By: Pegeen Maisie M. Sararana and Paul Lauro - CDN Digital Correspondent, CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | June 11,2021 - 04:54 PM

These items were confiscated in an anti-drug operation that led to the killing of three suspects in Barangay Taptap, Cebu City on Thursday night, June 10, 2021. | contributed photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Operatives from the Police Regional Office are now focussing on identifying the possible criminal groups affiliated with the three drug suspects killed in an armed encounter with the police in Barangay Taptap, Cebu City on Thursday night, June 10, 2021.

The three were cornered in Barangay Taptap by pursuing operatives after they escaped from the buy-bust operation conducted two hours earlier in Camp 4 in Talisay City.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, the deputy director for operations of the Cebu City Police Office, identified the three suspects as Lihbon Kerr Bargayo, Christopher Lim, and Boyet Rama who were believed to be residents of Metro Cebu.

Parilla said that the three were included in their watch list of drug personalities at the regional level.

However, the police could not disclose yet their specific addresses as they are still tracking their backgrounds. There were also no relatives who claimed their bodies as of this posting.

Parilla added that because of the volume of illegal drugs seized from the suspects, the next thing that they would look into would be the possible connections of the three to big-time drug groups operating in the region.

Investigators are also not discounting the possibility that the tattoos found on the bodies of the suspects could be possible trademarks of the drug group they belong to.

READ: Police say drug suspects killed in Taptap could be part of big-time drug group

Parilla disclosed that the buy-bust operation was made around 9:00 p.m. on Thursday in Camp 4 in Talisay City. The operation was already consummated when Bargayo, the one transacting with the undercover police officers, sensed that he was transacting with authorities resulting in an initial armed encounter and their escape.

The operatives then conducted a dragnet operation with the other operating regional agencies and placed checkpoints on possible escape routes.

“Ang kini siya nga operation, it was led by PDEG SOU-7, and while ongoing ang transaction, nag coordinate na daan ang Cebu City and other agencies, nag briefing…It started at Camp 4 ang ilang transaction, na consummate ang ilang transaction, ang buy-bust, but naka dagan,” he said.

“After that, nag conduct og dragnet operation with the whole Region 7 agencies considering nga it was already planned and gi tap na nato ang atoang other agencies like the HPG-7 then ang atoang checkpoint was also set-up sa Transcentral Highway, especially sa Barangay Tap-tap,” Parilla added.

Parilla said that past 10:30 p.m., personnel from the Highway Patrol Group (HPG-7) intercepted the black Toyota Vios sedan boarded by the three suspects with the Special Operations Unit providing them the description of the vehicle.

Parilla added that the suspects did not stop when they were flagged down and instead started firing at responding operatives. In retaliation, the operatives also fired back killing the three.

Apart from the checkpoint being put up in Barangay Taptap in Cebu City, the police also set up checkpoints in Lapu-Lapu City and Mandaue City. The Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) also coordinated in the region-wide operation.

“Na encounter na sila ngadto, wala naman silay kadaganan kay checkpoint is already set-up. Kita mana sila kay atong checkpoints always bearing mana sa atoang signage,”

Parilla added that there’s a possibility that the three were major suppliers of illegal drugs in the region considering the volume of ‘shabu’ that was seized.

“Ang Cebu man gud is transhipment sa tanang lugar. Usually, gikan sa Manila, although dili na sila tanan diri sa Cebu, drugs can be transported ngadto sa other provinces,” he added.

IN PHOTOS: Estimated P70M worth of drugs seized in Taptapd, Cebu City

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TAGS: Barangay Taptap shootout, big-time drug groups, Boyet Rama, Christopher Lim, illegal drugs, Lihbon Kerr Bargayo, Police Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, shabu, shootout

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