Shootout in Balamban: 4 wounded after buy-bust turned into a car chase, and a gunfight with cops

By: Paul Lauro - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | August 20,2023 - 11:36 AM

Shootout in Balamban: This is the vehicle used by the suspected drug pushers during the gunfight with policemen in Barangay Cambuhawi in the town. | Contributed photo via Paul Lauro

Bullet holes are seen in the windshield of the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 of the suspects. This is the car that the suspects used during the shootout in Balamban on Saturday, August 19.| Contributed photo via Paul Lauro

CEBU CITY, Philippines — It started as a buy-bust operation that turned into a car chase and ended in a shootout, leaving two suspected drug pushers and two of their four female companions, wounded.

The shootout happened in Barangay Cambuhawi in Balamban town at past 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 19.

This was according to Police Lieutenant Colonel Glenn Hife, Balamban Police Station chief, in a report about the shooting.

READ: Most Wanted Person in Central Visayas killed in shootout with cops in Negros Oriental

Wounded suspects identified

Hife also identified the wounded suspected drug dealers as Richard Moscoso and Rex Ledesma, who are both from Barangay Buanoy in Balamban.

The police chief also said that the female driver and three minor girls, all 15 years old, were inside the car during the shootout.

Hife identified the wounded female driver as Arianne Blaire Navales, the live-in partner of Moscoso.

He also said that one of the girls was one of the four wounded in the shootout.

The police chief said that one of the three, 15-year-old girls. inside the car of the suspects during the shootout was allegedly the daughter of  Navales and Moscoso.

She was not hurt in the shootout.

Shootout in Balamban.

These are the guns and suspected illegal drugs confiscated from the two suspected drug pushers. | Contributed photo via Paul Lauro

READ: Businessman shot dead inside his house in Cordova town

How shootout happened

Initial investigation showed that a buy-bust operation was conducted against Moscoso and Ledesma at past 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 19, in Barangay Pondol, Balamban town.

But as the buy-bust operation went down, the suspects realized that they were transacting with a policeman, they hurriedly got inside the car and leave the area in a Mitsubishi Mirage driven by Navales.

The policemen of the Balamban Police Station pursued the suspects and cornered them in Barangay Cambuhawi after a police mobile patrol vehicle blocked their path.

READ: Construction worker shot dead by coworker after heated argument, police eye illegal drugs as motive

Driver backed into police motorcycles

Policemen on motorcycles, who were pursuing the suspects and were behind the suspects’ car, stopped, and got off their motorcycles, believing that with the suspects cornered, they would give up.

But instead of giving up, Navales, the driver of the car, suddenly put the car on reverse and slammed into one of the motorcycles of the policemen. 

Then, the men in the car started firing at the policemen.

READ: Love triangle eyed as motive behind fatal shooting in Hipodromo

Wounded, rushed to hospital

The shootout, which lasted for a couple of minutes, ended as the two suspects and two of their female companions were wounded during the exchange of gunfire.

No policeman was hurt in the shootout.

The wounded suspects and their wounded female companions were rushed to the hospital for treatment.

Police also recovered at the crime scene two guns — a .45 caliber pistol and a .22 caliber revolver.

READ: Construction workers caught with drugs, gun in separate police raids in Cebu City, Carcar

Shabu seized

Aside from that, police also confiscated 38 sachets of suspected shabu and 4 medium packs of suspected shabu from the suspects.

Police also confiscated the Mitsubishi Mirage of the suspects. 

According to Hife, the suspects were still recuperating from their wounds at the hospital.

ALSO READ: UP report: More drug killings under Marcos than Duterte’s last year

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