2 target-listed pushers slain in GenSan drug busts

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Two target-listed drug pushers were killed in separate shootouts with police operatives here on Monday afternoon.

Col. Aden Lagradante, city police director, said Tuesday the encounters happened during buy-bust operations launched by the city police units and the Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit (RPDEU)-12 in Barangays Bula and Lagao.

Citing a report from Maj. Tirso Pascual, chief of the Bula police station, a “notorious” pusher identified as Russel de Guzman, was killed after resisting arrest and engaging operatives in a firefight during an entrapment around 1:45 p.m. at a portion of the Royeca Road in Barangay Bula.

During the transaction, de Guzman sold a sachet of shabu worth PHP500 to an undercover cop but drew a .38 caliber handgun after noticing that he was dealing with lawmen and attempted to flee.

A brief firefight ensued that resulted in the fatal wounding of the suspect, who was declared dead upon arrival at the Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital (DJPRH).

The operating team recovered from de Guzman, who was included in the city police’s drug watchlist, 10 more sachets of suspected shabu, the PHP500 marked bill and the revolver.

Pascual said in an interview with reporters that the slain suspect was a member of a notorious criminal gang engaged in motorcycle theft, robbery, and peddling of illegal drugs.

He said that de Guzman was a cohort of drug dealer identified as Poge Mislay, who was killed in an entrapment operation last May 5 in Purok Pandian, Zone 4 in Block 1, Barangay Labangal.

“He (de Guzman) was able to escape in that operation,” the police official said.

In Barangay Lagao, another pusher identified as Efren Fano Escolta, 29, was killed in an alleged encounter around 3:30 p.m. in Purok 23, Sunrise Valley Subdivision.

Lagradante said the encounter ensued after the suspect, who sold a sachet of suspected shabu worth PHP500 to an undercover operative of the RPDEU-12, resisted arrest.

Recovered from Escolta, who was declared dead upon arrival at the DJPRH, was a .38-caliber revolver and PHP500 marked money.

He added that the slain suspect was listed as a level 1 high-value target in the Inter-Agency Drug Information Database. (PNA)

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