2 dead in Abra drug bust shootout

2 dead in Abra drug bust shootout

Northern Luzon Bureau
Last updated 05:20pm (Mla time) 07/11/2007

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — Two men, one of them the head of the anti-drug enforcement agency in Abra, were killed while another man was wounded in a shootout during a drug operation on Wednesday in Zone 1 in Bangued, Abra, police said.


Police said Chief Inspector Dante Gacadan, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) provincial chief, was killed by a certain Aga Ato, a trader from Mindanao, in a shootout at the Benesa Compound in Zone 1. Ato was also killed.


Wounded was Renato Guerrero, a PDEA agent.


Senior Superintendent Alexander Pumecha, Abra police director, said Gacadan and his men had made a stakeout on Ato since early Wednesday morning.


He said when they were about to pounce on Ato, the shootout occurred.


Ato was a trader operating in Abra and Ilocos Sur, Pumecha said.


In another incident, witnesses have identified four suspects in the May 4 killing of six people, including a village chief, in Lagayan town.


The six were relatives of Lagayan Mayor Cecille Luna. They were in a sports utility vehicle (SUV) when they were attacked.


Luna ran for Abra’s lone congressional seat against former governor Vicente Valera in a close race, which is still being disputed.


Witnesses identified the suspects as Codiem Bilong, Joel Sulian, Celeno Bagnalen and Dominador Balucas. They were among the 10 people arrested by the police last week for illegal possession of firearms and as members of a partisan armed group of an Abra town mayor.

They were indicted for the killing of Romero Guyang, Barangay Ba-I chief in Lagayan, village treasurer Selima Caleflores, Eduardo Guyang, Bali Rubeo, Jeson Battalao and Darwin Sitnage


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