A regional high-value drug target and one other alleged big-time drug dealer were killed during “One-time, Big-time” anti-illegal drug operations which also led to the arrest of 39 other alleged drug personalities in at least 25 Bohol towns on Thursday.
The fatalities were identified as Eddie Vaño, a regional high value target and native of Carmen, and Joel Olalo of Anda.
According to Sr. Insp. Romar Labasbas of the Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB), Vaño shot at arresting officers who were about to serve a search warrant against him at the residence of his brother-in-law.
Vaño allegedly fired once prompting a police officer to shoot back and hit him in the forehead.
The alleged exchange of fire led to Vaño’s death while none from the arresting team was injured.
Police found four large packs of shabu with an estimated street value of P1.2 million and digital weighing scales inside a suspected sorting room for illegal drugs at the house, said Labasbas.
Vaño was arrested in 2016 for alleged drug possession during a raid in Carmen.
However, his drug operations allegedly grew further as he was released from detention in 2017 after a controversial dismissal of the cases filed against him.
Meanwhile, Olalo was shot dead by police in Anda at dawn on Thursday after he allegedly shot PO3 Teofilo Barrete who was among officers who were about to serve a search warrant for illegal firearms at the suspect’s residence.
Olalo was rushed to a nearby hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
Barrete was taken to the Anda Rural Health Unit but authorities said that the bullet allegedly fired by Olalo from his .45 caliber pistol did not go through his bulletproof vest.
According to the Bohol Provincial Police Office, a total of 204 assorted sizes of suspected packets of shabu were confiscated by various police units during the “One-time, Big-time” operation.
Authorities however have yet to release the identities of the arrested individuals and the weight and amount of the illegal drugs seized from them during the operations conducted throughout the day.
Earlier this week, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-led Regional Oversight Committee declared 321 Bohol barangays drug-free.
The validations for the drug-free status of the villages came after Bohol was ranked fifth nationwide and first in the region in terms of barangay drug affectation percentage.
With the newly drug-cleared villages, Bohol is expected to significantly drop from the rankings. (W. Maestrado with RT)