THE heat is on.
AT least seven suspected drug dealers were killed on Thursday alone during a separate police operations in Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Laguna and Oriental Mindoro that added to the number of earlier reported incidents.
In Nueva Ecija, police killed three alleged notorious drug dealers in a 100-kilometer per hour running gun battle from the northeastern Rizal town to San Jose City past midnight on Thursday.
This placed to eight the number killed in the illegal drug business in the province in less than a week.
Nueva Ecija police director, Supt. Manuel Cornel, identified the two casualties as Ariel Sembrano Samonte and Salman Mamungcara Macapundag, with reported addresses in Novaliches, Quezon City and Baclaran, Parañaque in Metro Manila, respectively. The other one was unidentified but reportedly from Isabela province.
The suspects were allegedly responsible for delivering illegal drugs in Pangasinan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija.
Police provincial intelligence office led by Chief Insp. Alexander Aurelio said they were putting up a check point for the group that was going for their transaction in the cities of Munoz and San Jose when the running gun battle ensued. The suspects got wind of the entrapment and changed direction but the police gave chase. Nearing Rizal town, about seven kilometers from San Jose City, the suspects fired at the pursuing police car.
The five-minute gun running battle resulted in the killing of the three suspected drug dealers. No casualties were reported in the side of the police team.
Recovered were about 400 grams of shabu, various units of caliber .45 and .38 pistols and a .22 caliber rifle.
Also on Thursday morning, Cabanatuan police found the body of Jimbo Ponce of Barangay Vijandre, with slashed neck and his mouth stuffed with a sachet of shabu in a vacant lot near Padre Crisostomo Elem. School, Barangay Aduas Centro, Cabanatuan.
Ponce is a nephew of Vijandre village chief, Alfredo Ponce Jr.
In Bulacan, two brothers allegedly involved in illegal drug operation were killed while one was arrested in an encounter with policemen in Sitio Daang Bakal, Barangay San Juan in San Miguel town.
Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., acting Provincial Director of Bulacan identified the slain suspects as Joseph Sarmiento and his brother, Feliciano. Arrested was Alex Carpio. All are residents of Sitio Daang Bakal.
The encounter ensued after one of the suspects, sold a sachet shabu to a poseur buyer for P500 while he and his companions where having a pot session.
In Laguna, a suspected drug pusher, ranked No. 4 in the drug watchlist was killed in an encounter with the police in Luisiana town.
Provincial Director, Senior Supt. Ronnie Montejo, said suspect Edwin Chavez, engaged the operatives into a shoot out. He was killed on the spot.
Similarly, another drug pusher was slain in an illegal drug operation in Socorro, Or Mindoro.
Socorro Chief of Police, Insp. Mark Son Almeranez, said they conducted a buy-bust operation against Bartolome Diaz inBarangay Leuteboro when the suspect sensed that he was dealing with a police poseur-buyer and engaged them to a fire fight.