By Jel Santos
An alleged drug peddler was gunned down by Makati policemen, while three of his cohorts, one of whom was reportedly a former Army soldier, were apprehended after a running gun battle on Tuesday afternoon at the boundary of Makati and Pasig.
Sr. Supt. Rogelio Simon, Makati police chief, could only identify the slain suspect as “Topher”.
Meantime, the nabbed suspects were John Rapsing, 34, a former member of the Philippine Army; Daniel Novie Bernardo, 27, a construction worker; and Theresa Elva “Ganda” De Paz, a call center agent. All are residents of Makati
Bernardo and De Paz were on the drug watch-list of the local police.
The four suspects, Simon said, were all working for Norman Manite, a drug dealer who is classified as a high-value-target of the police. “They are members of Norman Manite Group. Their group is operating in the cities of Makati, Pasig, and Taguig.”
The four suspects were in a car and were supposed to deliver drugs to their peddlers in Makati, when they were nabbed by the police in a drug sting at around 1:30 p.m.
One of the suspects, who informed authorities about the delivery of drugs at the boundary, was with operatives in the follow-up operation, the Makati police chief said.
“When we were about to cuff them. They went aboard their car and sped off,” he told the Manila Bulletin.
Topher, Simon said, kept firing at chasing cops. He even hit PO1 Tinpee Medriaga.
After a few minutes, police cornered the drug suspects. They retaliated and shot dead Topher, while the three others were unharmed.
Seized inside the car of the suspects were P370, 000 worth of illegal drugs, mostly shabu, and the caliber .45 pistol of Topher.
“We also found drug paraphernalia, digital weighing scale, and plastic sachets. they were just about to repack the illegal drugs. We only got little amount of marijuana, mostly were shabu,” Simon told the Manila Bulletin.
Manite, meanwhile, remains at-large and is currently the subject of a massive manhunt.