LUCENA City -- A rookie policeman suspected to have been involved in illegal drug trade was killed during a buy-bust operation jointly conducted by elements of PNP-Counter Intelligence Task Force (PNP-CITF) and Quezon police in Bgy. Pilaway, Infanta, Quezon yesterday morning.
Quezon police director Senior Supt. Osmundo de Guzman identified the slain officer as PO2 Ian Rey Abitona, 36, a native of Zamboanga and assigned as desk officer at Infanta Municipal Police Station.
De Guzman said Abitona, who was the subject of drug-bust operation which was carried out at 7:45 a.m., quickly ran away and subsequently opened fire at the operating team upon sensing that he was dealing with fellow cops.
He said a brief exchange of gunfire took place which resulted in his instant death.
The operation stemmed from several complaints received by CITF and Quezon police, disclosing that Abitona is a protector and dealer of prohibited drugs in Infanta, using his civilian “assets” in recycling seized illegal drugs.
There were also reports that the policeman had something to do with the killing of some of them for their failure to remit sale.
De Guzman said validations earlier conducted by Provincial Intelligence Branch of Quezon police revealed that Abitona was indeed involved in illegal drug trade.
As a precautionary and initial action, De Guzman said Infanta police commander Chief Insp. Lowell Atienza immediately relieved Abitona from his assignment as Intelligence and Drug Enforcement Unit operative and assigned him as desk officer.
Police recovered the cal. 9mm service pistol of the suspect, several sachets of suspected shabu and undetermined amount of cash, including the used marked money, from his possession.
De Guzman said Abitona’s death is a clear manifestation that the Quezon police does not tolerate erring policemen, especially those involved in illegal drugs.