2 killed, 3 arrested during marijuana uprooting operation in Toledo City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Two suspected marijuana cultivators were killed when they shoot it out with operatives conducting a marijuana uprooting operation in Sitio Kaloctogan, Barangay Pangamihan in Toledo City, around 2 a.m. on Saturday, September 18, a top police official revealed.
Three other suspects were also arrested
Police Major Alejandro Batobalonos, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Operations Unit (SOU7) said marijuana eradication operation turned into an armed encounter when operatives were allegedly fired upon by Eduardo Cabiles Jr., and a certain Gilbert who were both killed.
Batobalonos said they swooped down on the area after they were able to verify reports about the suspects’ involvement in the illegal drug trade.
Batobalonos said that before the encounter, police arrested three individuals identified as Reymark Cabiles of legal age, the subject of the operation, Renante Cama-ongay, and Envaristo Camaongay, the plantation’s alleged cultivators who are residents of the said barangay.
However, the other cultivator, identified as Ryan Cabiles, Reymark’s brother, managed to escape before the operating team arrived at around 2 a.m. on Saturday, September 18.
Operatives were able to uproot around 1,000 fully grown marijuana plants with an estimated market value of P2 million.
Police said the marijuana plantation covered 10,000 square meters. They said the uprooted marijuana were all burned on site.
Batobalonos said that after they finished uprooting and burning the plants they decided to pull out from the area bringing with them the three arrested suspects.
On their way out they passed by a house reportedly owned by a certain Eduardo Cabiles Sr., the alleged father of Reymark and Ryan Cabiles.
Batobalonos said they didn’t know that Eduardo and Gilbert were inside the house. The two allegedly fired at them first.
“Actually ang ilang papa, kato si Eduardo Cabiles Sr., naa na sa Toledo City Jail, napriso sa marijuana gihapon… While approaching mi sa balay atong mga Cabiles, gi ambush man nuon mi atong Eduardo Cabiles Jr. ( brother of Reymark and Ryan),” Batobalonos said.
“Wala mi kahibaw og kinsa iyang ponterya. Iya ba ming gi barakan aron ma demoralized mi or iya mi gi straffing aron mabuhian namo to iyang igsuon kay high ground gud sya tas ubos mi,” he added.
The encounter lasted for a few minutes which resulted in the death of Eduardo Jr., and Gilbert.
Batobalonos further said that the Cabileses are notorious marijuana cultivators not only in Toledo City but also in Danao City and Asturias town.
“Kaning mga Cabiles, dugay nakay ni nga gihunting sa Danao, sa Asturias, ug sa Toledo. Mao ni ilang family business, kining marijuana kay dako kay silag yuta diha. Kani si Reymark, naa ni siyay pending warrant of arrest sa Toledo. Katong namatay, naa natoy warrant tulo, mga warrant sa Asturias ug Danao for the same offense sa marijuana,” Batobalonos added.
Batobalonos said there were at least 20 police personnel who conducted the operation this morning with at least eight belonging to the 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company and twelve from the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG-7).
Batobalonos added that none of the police personnel was injured in the gunfight.
He added that they recovered one 9mm Engram, one AR15, a .45 caliber pistol, and drug paraphernalia as well as 5 kilos of dried marijuana worth P600,00. /rcg
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