TALAVERA, Nueva Ecija – Two reformed drug suspects who returned to drug peddling on Sunday night were killed in an armed encounter after selling illegal drugs to undercover lawmen in this town.
Slain were Zandro Manlapaz and his cohort, Mario Villo, both of Bgy. Bacal 2, this municipality.
The suspects exchanged fire with members of the local drug enforcement unit conducting a buy-bust operation in Bgy. Bacal 2 at 7:05 p.m. on Sunday.
Town police head Supt. Alexie Desamito said the two were included in the police’ drug watchlist.
"In fact, graduate na sila sa reformation program, kaso ayaw pa rin lumubay sa kanilang drug activities. Ang area of operation nila ay Bgy. Bacal 2 at 3, pati Muñoz," she told People’s Journal.
Desamito said Villo, one of the slain suspects, had a case of theft pending before a local court.
Recovered at the encounter site were a cal. 38 and cal.22 revolvers, several rounds of empty cartridge cases of firearms, the suspects' Kawasaki Bajaj motorcycle and nine plastic sachets containing shabu.
The anti-drug operation came barely 17 hours after two suspected drug peddlers in a Hyundai Starex van and a Kawasaki Bajaj motorcycle were killed in a gunfight with the Cabanatuan City police headed by Supt. Ponciano Zafra in Bgy. Sta. Arcadia.