Two cops suspected of illegal drug dealings killed in Zamboanga buy-bust operation
Two policemen suspected of involvement in illegal drugs were killed in a buy-bust operation in Zamboanga City on Saturday afternoon.
Chief Inspector Helen Galvez, public information officer of the Zamboanga regional police, said slain were PO3 Ronald Bernardo and PO2 Maria Oliver Olaso, both assigned at Zamboanga City Police Station 9 (Ayala) and resident of Ayala, Zamboanga City.
In a press briefing in Camp Crame Monday, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde said the operation against the two policemen "stemmed from an intelligence packet provided by PNP Intelligence Group stating that both policemen were involved in recycling illegal drugs and known protectors of several drug pushers in Zamboanga City since 2010."
"Sometime in 2016, the tandem reportedly arrested a certain Lao in Brgy Recodo, Zamboanga City and confiscated around four kilos of shabu but they only declared 500 grams as evidence and the rest were recycled," he said.
"Likewise, they are included in the counter-intelligence watchlist of the Directorate for Intelligence and PDEA Region 9 for their involvement in illegal drugs," he added.
Galvez said the two policemen died in an arm confrontation that occured after they sensed that they were dealing with the Counter Intelligence Task Force (CITF) operatives during the conduct of buy bust operation at the vicinity of Zone 8, Barangay Ayala Zamboanga City at about 2:25 pm.
"Initial investigation disclosed prior to the incident, CITF conducted surveillance on the reports of the two subject police officers were involved in illegal drugs and upon confirmation operating team CITF initiated the buy bust operation which resulted to the death of the subject police officers," she said.
Galvez said the two policemen sustained multiple gunshot wounds.
"Cadaver of the subject police officers were subjected for post mortem examination," she said.
Galvez said the authorities requested the assistance of regional crime scene operatives.
She said the scene of the crime team recovered seven empty shell of alleged cal. 9mm , one piece one thousand pesos bill alleged mark money, one 9mm brand name Pietro Berreta pistol with one magazine loaded with five ammunition and one chamber load and one caliber 45 Colt pistol with one magazine loaded with four live ammunition with chamber load and other evidence from the crime scene.
Authorities also recovered three pieces of heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance or suspected shabu, cellphones, assorted identification card, two magazines of caliber .45 loaded with 13 live ammunition, cash and other items from Olaso.
Galvez said also recovered from Bernardo were one sling bag color brown containing, cellphones, two units magazines of caliber 9mm with 28 live ammunition and one cellphone charger.
She said CITF also recovered other items including firearms, cellphones and cash in the safe house near the place of incident.
Galvez said the recovered cellphones were turned over to cybercrime unit 9 for digital forensic examination. Robina Asido/DMS