AN agent of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency was shot dead by suspected drug pushers during a buy-bust operation in Zamboanga Sibugay last Monday.
PDEA chief Aaron Aquino said Intelligence Officer 2 Jack Roland M. Bastatas, assigned at the PDEA Regional Office 9, was declared dead on arrival at the Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Hospital where he was brought after he was shot.
Bastatas is a member of Class 2016 – “Kawalong Silab.”
“The PDEA family is saddened by his death. He was a good father to a newly-christened child whom he left home to join the operations in Zamboanga, and likewise a good son and a loving brother to his siblings,” Aquino said.
Reports said Bastatas was riding with Police Cpl. Richie Novie Janeo in the lead vehicle of a police convoy out to conduct a buy-bust operation in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay when their vehicle was fired upon by the three pushers who sensed their arrival. Janeo was hit while Janeo was wounded.
The rest of the cops returned fire, killing the three suspected pushers identified as Ibrahim Cula, Jan-jan Mauli and Absor Cula. A fourth suspect, identified as a certain Rosalie Gonzales Cula, was arrested.
Recovered at the scene were 30 grams of suspected shabu, two long firearms, handguns, bullets and magazines.
Aquino said Bastatas’ death will not cow PDEA agents from running after drug pushers.
“With his loss, we will not be discouraged, but will remain strong as ever and as determined to fight this battle, remaining true to our vow to eventually eradicate the drug menace”, Aquino said.
Police said more than 50 law enforcers have been killed in anti-illegal drugs operations from July 2016 to June 2019.