Police label killed Zamboanga agents in illegal drug trafficking

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The police confirmed that the two agents killed during a gunfight involving members of the Counter-Intelligence Task Force (CITF) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Zamboanga City were involved in illegal drugs.

It said that the duo – PO3 Ronald Bernardo and PO2 Maria Oliver Olaso, were killed after they had deployed undercover agents during a stabbing operation on August 18 in the village of Ayala. Task force agents tried to arrest the duo when the police officers allegedly called in the arresting team, backed by police officers, during a gunfight.

"Counter-Intelligence Task Force conducted surveillance on the reports that the two involved police officers were involved in illicit drugs and after confirming the operation the CITF company started the buy-bust operation that resulted in the death of the subject of police officers," Chief Inspector Helen Galvez said, a spokesperson for the regional police.

She said police officials reclaimed suspicious shabu's and weapons and money from the killed agents and their allegedly safe house in the neighborhood.

But former head of the village Alex Macapili told E-Media Television that he was with Bernardo and Olaso and that they had just carried out anti-drug trafficking in the area when they met a group of police officers on their way home. And then police officers started shooting at them, said Macapili, who was able to run to a safe place at the first burst of gunfire.

In the same report, E-Media said that Macapili was the subject of a search warrant after the police received information that he kept illegal weapons in his house. Macapili is gone and is supposed to hide.

The operation coincided with President Rodrigo Duterte's order to kill police officers involved in illegal drugs and to provide P5 million rewards for every murdered rogue agent.

The families of the killed policemen have not released a statement about the accusations against Bernardo and Olaso, who were members of the anti-illegal drug unit of the police station in Ayala. (Mindanao examiner)

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