A BUY-BUST operation in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan shortly before noon Friday turned deadly when the suspect engaged undercover officers in a shootout resulting in the death of the latter and the slight wounding of a junior officer, Police Regional Office 4-B director, Chief Superintendent Tomas C. Apolinario Jr. said yesterday.
The official identified the slain suspect as Sabino Benitez, a 29-year-old local resident who has been tagged as a drug trafficker in the city. According to Apolinario, the suspect had just sold a sachet of shabu to an undercover officer in Rampano Road in Barangay Sta. Lourdes at 11:27 a.m. Friday when he sensed the presence of other cops in the area and resisted arrest.
Apolinario said the suspect pulled out a concealed caliber .38 revolver and fired twice at the lawmen, hitting Inspector Ray Elona who was luckily saved by his bullet-proof vest.
The officer and his men returned fire hitting Benitez who died while being taken to the Hospital ng Palawan.
The Mimaropa police director said that recovered from the slain suspect’s possession were one caliber .38 revolver with four live ammunition and two spent cartridges, six heat-sealed plastic sachets containing suspected shabu and a marked P1,000 bill paid to him by the undercover agent.
Apolinario said a .38 slug was also found embedded in the bullet-proof vest of Elona who was treated for bruises and abrasions.