47 shot dead in drug war

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47 shot dead in drug war

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No less than 47 drug personalities were killed in the province during the past 90 days since July 1 when the Duterte administration officially waged a war against drugs.

Of the 47 fatalities, 22 were shot dead during legitimate police operations while the remaining 25 are still being investigated even as police theorized them as  primarily caused by business rivalry in the drug trade.

Extra-judicial killings characterized by victims wrapped in masking tape in- -whole or partly- -thrown to the streets and with cardboards on top of the bodies bearing the message, “Pusher, hwag tularan” will not happen in Bohol.

This assurance came from Police Superintendent George Vale, who now heads the Provincial Intelligence Branch.

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In fact, the Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO) is investigating killings of drug personalities in incidents outside of police operations, particularly those handiwork of riding in tandem.

Vale was among the resource persons during the revival of the Talakayan sa Isyung Police(TSIP) last Thursday that used to be conducted monthly.

He also assured that there will be no incident in Bohol like what the public had watched on TV happening in other areas of the country where children and innocent civilians had been killed by stray bullets or the same bullets that killed the subjects during operations where responding police officers were forced to shoot at the drug personalities who resisted arrest.

Vale said the BPPO hold weekly conferences every Monday where the chiefs of police in the towns and the city are constantly reminded to be careful in conducting police operations and make sure innocent civilians are spared in inevitable shootouts.

Moreover, the police are in coordination with CHR-Bohol wherein they provide data to CHR-Bohol, and they also asked for data from CHR-Bohol about police officers facing complaints of human rights violations.

Of the 47 reported shootings from July 1-October 15, at least 22 resulting deaths came from legitimate operations, and the 25 deaths outside of police operations are now being investigated.

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Out of 25 deaths under investigation outside of police operations, the police had already solved one case and a formal charge had already been filed in court, referring to the case of Zoilo Garcia III, a son of a retired police officer, who was killed on July 21.

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The victim was a 37-year-old resident of corner B. Inting and Tamblot Streets, Tagbilaran City.

Based on investigation, the victim had an altercation with somebody before he was shot several times at around 12:26 on July 21.

The victim was a member of the Active Local Emergency Response Team (ALERT) of the city government.

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Meanwhile, Vale clarified that the slain police officer, PO3 Irmon Butil was killed in shootout on September 8 in barangay Lourdes in Panglao.

Members of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team successfully entrapped Butil in a buy-bust operation, but he resisted arrest which prompted the responding cops to shoot him.

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Butil, a 35-year-old resident of Alicia, was assigned in Lila.

According to the SWAT Team, Butil opened fire at them upon noticing that he was dealing with a cop.

This prompted the return fire from the buy-bust team composed of the SWAT Team, led by PChief Insp. Jamiri, the police team of Panglao, and the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB)-7 team.

Also according to reports, Butil was among the subjects of a raid earlier, in the afternoon of the same day.

The buy-bust operation was conducted as a follow-up operation.

Aside from the small sachet of shabu Butil handed to the poseur-buyer, the buy-bust team also recovered the 500-peso bill used as marked money, and eight more packs of shabu in sachets of different sizes from Butil.

The Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) also recovered a black Honda XRM motorcycle without serial number, a 9mm Pietro Berette pistol with serial no. P86167Z loaded with live ammunitions, a 9mm fired cartridge, and another fired bullet.

Butil was subjected to police operations, following intelligence report that he had been engaged in the illegal drugs trade despite being in active police service.

Meanwhile, Vale said they continue monitoring police officers reportedly protecting drug personalities and validate classified information as to the extent of their participation in illegal activities.

At least three police officers in Bohol are now under investigation after proving positive of drugs.

Police Senior Insp. David Niluag explained that they follow the due process before dismissing a police officer engaged in illegal drugs trade.

Cops earlier tagged in illegal drugs had already been reassigned to other areas where they undergo a reformation program and refresher sessions.

However, if they continue being in contact with personalities in illegal activities and showing tendency to go back to their usual habit, the PNP will be forced to dismiss them from service.

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