By Martin Sadongdong
Two drug suspects were shot dead in what police said was a buy-bust operation which ended in a bloody shootout inside one of the fatalities’ rented unit in Biñan, Laguna Saturday night.
Senior Superintendent Kirby Kraft, provincial director of Laguna Police Provincial Office (PPO), identified the suspects as Jerwin Bartolazo, legal age, and Jay Manalo, legal age. The suspects, who were later revealed as uncle-and-nephew, were both residents of Mercado Street, Barangay Platero, Binan, Laguna.
In a police report, Kraft said that elements of Binan City Police Station conducted a buy-bust operation against Bartolazo who was accompanied by Manalo around 9:30 p.m. near their residence.
Kraft said the suspects were to sell P500 worth of shabu to a police poseur-buyer but before the transaction was completed, they sensed that they were dealing with cops.
Kraft said the suspects tried to escape by initiating a firefight against the operating officers. A brief chase ensued which ended inside the rented unit, with the two suspects dead.
Kraft added that the house was being used as a makeshift drug den for the customers of Bartolazo.
However, the kin of the slain suspects denied that a buy-bust operation was conducted.
According to a report, the relatives of the slain suspects, whose identities were not disclosed for security reasons, claimed that the cops stormed the unit and forced them to go outside the house.
After a couple of minutes shots were fired and the next thing they knew, Bartolazo and Manalo were already dead.
Kraft said Bartolazo had previous cases of double murder.
He added that the slain suspect was listed in the city’s drug watch list as a pusher. No information was readily available if Manalo was also listed in the drugs watch list, according to the Laguna PPO.
Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) recovered from the suspects a caliber .45 pistol, a caliber .38 revolver, a toy gun, and nine plastic sachets containing suspected shabu.