BLOODY DAY IN MALOLOS | Cop chief, 2 men wounded, 5 drug suspects slain

June 30, 2017 - 8:12 AM

MANILA, Philippines — The chief of police of Malolos, Bulacan and two of his men were wounded while five drug suspects were killed in a series of operations, including a two-hour running gun battle that began as a botched buy bust operation in adjacent Calumpit.

In other incidents, in Caloocan City, a drug suspect blew himself up with the grenade he had apparently intended to lob at a police team out to arrest him, while gunmen shot dead a resident of Payatas, Quezon City and a man outside a convenience store in Sampaloc, Manila.

Calumpit police chief Superintendent Santos Mera said they were about to arrest a drug supplier from Caloocan City identified only as “Ponyong” when the suspect and a companion, identified later as  Jed Ryan Nogales of 2nd Avenue, Caloocan, drew their guns and opened fire as they fled, commandeering a tricycle and heading to Malolos.

The Calumpit police alerted their Malolos counterparts who joined the chase. At a highway crossing, Ponyong and Nogales climbed a flyover that provided cover as they traded fire with the policemen.

More than two hours after the firefight started, Nogales was killed when he was cornered behind a house in Malolos. Ponyong, who was earlier believed to have escaped, was killed later when he was cornered in Barangay Calumpang back in Calumpit and chose to shoot it out.

Malolos police chief Superintendent Heryl Bruno, who was shot in the left leg, Police Officers 1 Christopher Garbin and Parson Ahamad were wounded in the fire fight with Ponyong and Nogales.

But before this, Malolos police killed another cohort of Ponyong, Rogelio Flores alias “Jopet,” also from Caloocan, in a separate buy bust operation in Barangay Mabolo.

In yet another buy bust operation along the diversion road in Barangay Anilao, Malolos police also killed Onasis Cervantes and Alvin Tolentino, who Bruno said had been under surveillance for the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, in Phase 8-B, Barangay 176, Bagong Silang, Caloocan, Freddie Aguirre, alias “Pido,” who police said was a supplier for street dealers, was killed as he tried to lob a grenade at policemen out to arrest him.

City police chief Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna said his men shot at Aguirre when they saw him clutching the grenade, which then exploded.

Some P50,000 worth of shabu was found inside the house Aguirre had been renting in the neighborhood for about three months.

In Payatas, Jackson Frasdilla, a mason who his relatives said used to be a drug user, was killed by what neighbors believe to have been as many as six gunmen, all wearing jackets and hoods to hide their identities.

In Sampaloc, meanwhile, the presence of eyewitnesses did not deter two men on a motorcycle from shooting dead Angelito Bautista on the corner of G. Tuazon and Masbate Streets.

Closed circuit television footage showed one of the men, who were both wearing motorcycle helmets, alight and aim a gun at someone outside the frame then get back on as they sped away.

Bautista, said to be a known drug user who had given himself up under Oplan Tokhang, died immediately from four gunshots.

Senior Inspector Pidencio Saballo Jr., commander of the Gulod police community precinct, said aside from his former drug use, Bautista was not known to be involved in any other illegal activity. (with reports from Carlo Castillo, Hannibal Talete and Jennylyn Calimon, News5)