LEGAZPI CITY, July 13 (PNA) -- Two drug peddlers died Tuesday in an alleged shootout with lawmen in separate incidents in Albay and Camarines Sur, increasing to 11 the number of suspects killed in the Bicol region since the intensified anti-illegal drugs campaign was launched by the police two weeks ago.
Both suspects were declared dead on arrival in medical facilities in the two provinces. They were identified as Rafael Penera of Barangay Peñafrancia, Naga City in Camarines Sur and Joseph Maquiñana of Barangay Cotmon, Camalig, Albay.
A police report said Penera was stopped at a checkpoint of the Naga City Police Office traffic division in Barangay Peñafrancia for not wearing a helmet and for other traffic violations.
In the course of investigation, however, Penera, tried to grab the service firearms of the two arresting policemen who found out that he also has in his possession a plastic sachet of marijuana and other "shabu" (methamphetamine hydrochloride) paraphernalia.
The report said the scuffle prompted the two policemen-- PO1 Joan Ancheta and SPO1 Carlos Neola - to shoot Penera. The latter was brought to the Naga City Hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
In the second incident, Maquiñana was pronounced dead on arrival at the Municipal Rural Health Unit in Barangay Cotmon, Camalig, Albay after shooting it out with a poseur-buyer in a buy-bust operation, said Chief Insp. Benito Dipad, police chief of the Camalig Municipal Police Office.
Dipad said during the buy-bust, Maquiñana had suspected the poseur buyer to be a policeman so he drew his firearm and shot the operative thrice, prompting retaliation from the operative. Maquiñana died from multiple gunshot wounds in the body.
Police recovered a .38-caliber revolver and one plastic sachet with shabu from Maquiñana.
Prior to Tuesday’s incidents, a report by the Police Regional Office 5 based in Camp Simeon Ola in this city showed nine suspects killed during buy-bust operations in Bicol during the past two weeks.
They included two in Albay, three in Camarines Sur, one in Camarines Norte and three in Sorsogon.
Meanwhile 71 suspected drug peddlers have been arrested in the same period, said the same report. (PNA) LAP/GVR/JH/CBD