IT was a ‘bloody day’ in the Muslim area in Quiapo and San Miguel in Manila yesterday, as seven were killed and 263 were rounded up during a police operation conducted by elements of the Manila Police District (MPD) in targeted alleged havens for illegal drugs and carnapped vehicles. Those killed included a barangay chairman and a barangay tanod while those arrested included a suspected Bangsamoro Independent Freedom Fighters (BIFF) commander.
The fatalities were identified as Barangay 648 Chairman Nohg Faiz Macabato, who reportedly has a P1-million bounty on his head; Barangay Kagawad Malic Bayantol, Gaus Macabato and four others who remain unidentified and who were declared dead on arrival at Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital (JJASGH).
It was learned that as early as 5 a.m., some 350 operatives from the MPD Station 3, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) have already positioned themselves in the vicinity of the Islamic Center, particularly Palanca Street near P. Casal up to the area known as ‘Vietnam Alley.’ Said operatives were reportedly armed to the hilt since the area is known to be difficult to penetrate.
SPO2 Jonathan Bautista of the Homicide Section said that based on investigation, the confusion began when the MPD-District Police Intelligence Operations Unit and District Special Operations Unit tried to serve a search warrant against one Darius Macabato, said to be a ‘high-value target,’ as well as to Alingana Macabato and Musmir Uzman Macabato, who both allegedly have a P1-million bounty on their heads.
The chairman allegedly refused to acknowledge the said warrant until a heated verbal tussle ensued and led to a shooting incident right in front of the barangay hall located at the corner of P. Casal and C. Palanca Streets, which left the chairman dead from a gunshot wound in the chest.
In the nearby Fraternal Street in Quiapo, four were killed allegedly in an armed encounter and 263 were rounded up for verification purposes, including alleged BIFF commander Sambetory Ma-caraas Sarip, 33. Said operations lasted until 9:30 a.m.
Confiscated during the subsequent clearing operations were two 9mm guns, two hand grenades, six cal. .38 revolvers, two homemade guns and an undetermined amount of shabu.
It was learned that some carnapped vehicles were also reportedly found in the area. Police said the vehicles were being turned over to drug pushers in the area in exchange for illegal drugs. The said vehicles included 102 motorcycles and six cars which are all now being verified.
Police said that prior to their operation, a dialogue was held by MPD representatives with the ‘imams’ based in the said area.