TWO suspected drug peddlers were killed and five others were arrested in two separate firefight with government forces in Tawi-Tawi and Maguindanao, a military spokesman reported.
Two Marine soldiers were wounded during one of the skirmishes in Sapa-Sapa town in Tawi-Tawi on Tuesday, said Maj. Arvin Encinas, spokesman of the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command based in Zamboanga City.
The firefight was an offshoot of a buy-bust operation conducted by the Marine Battalion Landing Team 6, provincial Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Sapa-Sapa PNP in Sitio Pahabatan in Barangay Baldatal Islam at around 2:20 a.m.
“During the course of the buy-bust operation, the suspect tried to escape and opened fired at the apprehending team prompting the troops to retaliate and conduct a hot pursuit operation resulting to his untimely death,” said Encinas.
Encinas identified the fatality as Odin Masihul, who carries the aliases Baby, Bedi, and Ombak, a resident of Panglima Sugala town, also in Tawi-Tawi, who Encinas described as a “notorious drug pusher.”
Another drug peddler identified only as “Dats” died when he fought it out with soldiers, policemen and PDEA personnel during a law enforcement operation in Barangay Makir in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao on Tuesday afternoon.
“While approaching the location of the suspect, troops were fired upon which forced them to retaliate that resulted in the wounding of said drug personality,” said Encinas.
Two Marine soldiers wounded in the firefight were given prompt medical attention. They were not identified.
Encinas said four other drug peddlers identified as Abdulnajar Asanol Isarail, Mujahid Misuari Jalas, Rhadzkhomar Pawari Lakibul, and Jack Binlo Magsaysay were also nabbed.
Recovered were 50 grams of suspected shabu worth P340,000; P1,000 in buy-bust money, an M16 rifle with M203 grenade launcher, seven 5.56 magazines loaded with 169 ammunition, 15 40mm high explosive ammunition and cash.
Four men were arrested in anti-drug operations in the cities of Mandaluyong and Marikina.
Brig. Gen. Johnson Almazan, Eastern police district director, identified the four as Mariano Verano, 29; Terenz Magpayo, 37; Ryan Amarillo, 39; and Antonio Dizon, 55. – With Christian Oineza