Alleged drug personality killed in buy-bust operation in Mandaue also a gun-for-hire, says police
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu – Policemen in Lapu-Lapu City are looking at the possible involvement of a high value individual (HVI), who was killed in a buy-bust operation in Mandaue City at dawn on Saturday, in the killings of police assets that happened in Central Visayas in the past months.
Aside from being a drug peddler, the suspect who was identified as a certain Ricky Lopez Manuel alias “Jeric” was also a gun-for-hire, according to Police Lt. Col. Joey Bicoy, chief of the City Intelligence Unit of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LCPO).
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) in coordination with Lapu-Lapu City police conducted a buy-bust operation against Manuel at dawn on Saturday.
The transaction was made in a residential area in Sitio Pulang Bato, Barangay Alang-alang in Mandaue City.
Police recovered from the suspect’s possession 55 grams of suspected shabu worth at least P300, 000; a 9mm pistol; sling bag; cellular phone; and the buy-bust money.
According to Bicoy, Manuel, who is a native of Tagum City, Davao del Norte, currently resides in Sitio Takan, Barangay Ibo in Lapu-Lapu City.
During the buy-bust operation, Bicoy said that Manuel tried to fire a shot at the poseur buyer after he sensed that he was transacting with a police officer.
But the policeman was able to defend himself. He retaliated and hit Manuel.
Manuel died while he was being treated at a hospital.
According to Bicyo, Manuel was already arrested by Lapu-Lapu City police in the past for his alleged involvement in the illegal drugs trade and is now considered a HVI.
During their investigation, they also learned that the suspect was a gun-for-hire.
With the information, Bicoy said, he does not discount the possibility that Manuel was involved in the killing of police assets in the region in the past months. But they are yet to validate said information.
“According sa atong information, other than sa iyang illegal activities sa iyang pagpamaligya, he was the suspect in shooting incidents that happened in Central Visayas,” Bicoy said.
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