CITY OF MALOLOS—Policemen appear to have become targets of a wave of vigilantism
across the country.
The body of PO3 Michael Lee Manalad of the Malolos police was found on Thursday morning on a grassy knoll in the City of Meycauayan, strapped with the sign, “Pulis na pusher ’wag tularan (This policeman is a pusher. Do not emulate).”
Manalad was in uniform when residents found him in Ubihan village at 12:47 a.m. His pockets contained sachets of suspected shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride).
A native of Basilan province, Manalad served in the mobile patrol unit of the Malolos police.
Police said they had yet to establish whether the attack on Manalad was a fallout from President Duterte’s disclosure at the Clark Freeport that five police “generals” were suspected protectors of drug syndicates.
Manalad’s family has asked for privacy while the police undertake an investigation of the murder. No official complaint has reached the Malolos police linking Manalad to illegal drugs, according to Supt. Arwin Tadeo, city police chief.
Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., provincial police director, said Manalad was on the list of policemen who were under surveillance on suspicion of having ties to drug syndicates. He did not elaborate.
But in a Wednesday radio interview here, Caramat urged policemen tied to the syndicates to turn themselves in “lest they become part of the statistics.”
Also on Wednesday, Nicky Noel Villanueva, 40, was killed in a shootout with police in Pinaod village in San Ildefonso town.
In Plaridel town, police killed Aldwin Salvador in a gunfight at El Highway Hotel in Tabang village during a buy-bust operation. His companion, Ahren Santos, surrendered.
In Nueva Ecija province, the bodies of two women and a man were found in an irrigation canal in Llanera town. Their bodies were tied with wire and they were blindfolded.
Police identified the three as Melda Trapalgal, 46, Alma Santos, 47, and Manuel Andres, 47, all of Talavera town. They were all listed on the town’s drug watch list, police said.
In Bataan province, policemen shot dead two suspected drug dealers in a gunfight in Old San Jose village.
In Zambales province on Tuesday, policemen killed a suspected drug dealer after a chase from Botolan town to Iba town. Police said Ryan Villanueva and another drug suspect tried to flee on a motorcycle following a buy-bust operation. Villanueva was killed in an exchange of fire with the pursuing policemen, a report said.
In Pangasinan province, a suspected drug dealer, who, a village official said, promised never to sell narcotics in Bonuan Gueset village in Dagupan City, was one of two men killed during a police buy-bust operation on June 23.
Reynaldo Cornel surrendered to the Bonuan Gueset chair, Ricardo Mejia, on June 23, along with 100 suspected drug dealers and drug users. They promised not to be involved in the drug trade, Mejia said.
Mejia, a former drug user, drew as many as 500 people to his program meant to encourage drug users and pushers to undergo rehabilitation and secure alternative livelihood projects.
Cornel was with another suspect, Gerry Catungal, when the police conducted a buy-bust operation in Malasiqui town, said Supt. Cristopher Abrahano, Dagupan City police chief.
Catungal was on the police drug watch list, police said.