Attempt to fight off agents led to death of drug suspects in Cagayan de Oro, PDEA says

Officials of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Misamis Oriental said that the attempt by one of three drug suspects to fight off its agents led to a shootout during a buy-bust operation here last March 28. After the exchange of gunfire, all three suspects lay dead in their drug den in Barangay Carmen. According to Expedito Cardona Jr., PDEA's field officer in Misamis Oriental, the anti-narcotics agents were about to conclude a buy-bust operation on Tuesday night when one of the suspects, Henrylle Go, took out a handgun and started shooting at law enforcers. He said the PDEA operatives retaliated resulting in the deaths of Go and another suspct, Deovern Uy. A third suspect, Aramina Hizon, was seriously wounded and rushed to a local hospital but died hours later. Cardona said it was unfortunate that the suspects died during the encounter as they could have provided additional intelligence that could lead to more arrests. 'Before the operation, we have already gathered packets of intelligence. Had they been alive, they could have given us more information. We could have interrogated them,' Cardona added. Cardona said the agency will be transparent and face any probe, should there be one. 'Rest assured that the buy-bust operation was properly performed by the PDEA,' said Cardona, adding that followed protocol and footages from body-worn cameras will tell how the operation went. To prove that the PDEA agents did not tamper with the items at the crime scene, Cardona said they immediately called up personnel from the police's Scene of the Crime Operations to perform a forensics investigation. Go is said to have been in possession of a police uniform and he was even addressed as 'sir' in the neighborhood, but a PDEA verification indicated he was not on the roster of the Philippine National Police. 'He [Go] was using the uniform probably as protection so that nobody would snitch on him,' Cardona said. Confiscated from the suspects' possession were about 70 grams of suspected meth with an estimated street value of more than P500,000, and a .45-caliber pistol.

Source: Philippines News Agency