Drug enforcers conducted a successful raid in a drug den in Intramuros, Manila early Friday morning that led to the arrest of 23 drug users and dealers.
Members of the Manila Police District (MPD) Station 5 raided the suspected drug den on Legaspi Street in Barangay 654, Zone 69, District V, in the Banana Island area.
Five women were suspected to be drug pushers while the rest are reportedly mere users.
Follow-up Operation on Triple Murder
The drug bust was a result of the investigation related to the killing of three men found in a tricycle close to the National Museum the previous day.
The men were identified only by their aliases, namely, “Baby Mata,” “Toto,” and “Michael Kabayo.”
Officers of the MPD suspected that the grisly crime had something to do with the ongoing turf war between illegal drugs traders in the area.
Intelligence reports have revealed that the three men were waiting at the corner of P. Burgos Street to buy s***u (methamphetamine hydrochloride) from a drug syndicate.
The drug deal turned sour with the sellers taking the supposed buyers’ money and killing them instead of handing over the drugs, said Ermita police station Chief Supt. Alejandro Yanquiling.
A CCTV footage revealed how four men approached the three victims, with two of the suspects serving as lookouts and the two others pulling out the guns and firing at the victims.
However, investigators found out that the CCTV footage could not be used to identify the suspects because they were wearing hoodies and bull caps, making it hard to have a clear view of their faces.
Investigators were told by a jeepney driver that he saw four men leave the crime scene aboard two motorcycles. However, he did not see the actual event neither could he identify the gunmen.
Some of the 23 people a******d in the dawn raid admitted that they were part of the Bahala Na gang, the group where the three murder victims also belong to.
The a******d gang members admitted to using illegal drugs, saying they would often visit Intramuros to buy s***u from the suppliers in the area.
Yanquiling said all of those a******d will be charged with drug possession.
Increase in Narcotic Trade
Barangay Chair Juvy Fuentes admitted that many of the residents are alarmed at the increasing narcotic trade in the area.
It would seem that the drug traders are getting back to marketing drugs in the Intramuros streets after lying low for several years, Fuentes further adds.
The police team who conducted the raid expressed alarm over seeing that some of the a******d individuals were actually having these pot sessions outside their homes.
The team was also able to confiscate a huge amount of drug paraphernalia during the raid.
Police, however, did not have a search warrant and were not able to search the area. Nevertheless, they had the authority to arrest the suspects who were found using or selling drugs during the raid.
Yanquiling was hopeful that the killers would be a******d during the raid but suspects that a tip off from other residents allowed them to escape before the drug bust.