By Mar S. Arguelles
LEGAZPI CITY --- A suspected illegal drug trader was killed by police anti-narcotics operatives on Thursday night last week during a buy-bust operation at a subdivision in Daraga, Albay, a police report said.
Chief Insp. Arthur Gomez, spokesperson of the Provincial Police Office (PPO) of Albay, identified the suspect as Jake Saro, a resident of Barangay Oro Site this city.
Gomez said Saro died on the spot after resisting arrest and engaging the raiding police operatives in a shootout at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday while allegedly selling illegal drugs at Zone 4, First Park Subdivision, Barangay Sagpon in Daraga town, some three kilometers away from this city.
“Saro, sensing that he was a subject of a drug buy operation, quickly drew his handgun and fired at a policeman posing as a buyer that resulted to a firefight with police operatives,” Gomez said.
Police recovered a sachet of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) including a still unknown caliber of a handgun from Saro.
Gomez said initial investigation by the Daraga police showed Saro’s name was not included in either drug watch list or list of drug surrenderers of the Municipal Police Office.
He said that since Saro was a resident of Legazpi City, his office is still verifying with the Legazpi City Police Office whether Saro was included in the city’s drug watch list.
Gomez said Barangay Oro Site in this city is a village at the Legazpi Port District that is considered by the Philippine National Police-Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as among the illegal drug “hot spots” in Albay.
He said their initial investigation showed that Saro was not a native of Legazpi City but had come from Marawi City.
Marawi is the capital and largest city of Lanao del Sur in Mindanao that was attacked by a terrorist group weeks ago. Its inhabitants include the Maranaos, an indigenous group whose name literally means “People of the Lake,” referring to their traditional territory surrounding Lake Lanao.
Gomez said around a hundred Muslim families belonging to the Maranao tribe live in Barangay Oro Site.