A policeman and two alleged “gun-for-hire” whose targets were drug pushers who weren’t able to “pay up” were killed during a “one time big time” operation in Caloocan City, an official said on Friday.
Killed were Police Officer 3 Junior Hilario; and Jason de la Cruz and Mark Ian Herrera, according to Chief Senior Superintendent Jemar Modequillo of Caloocan police.
Modequillo said de la Cruz and Herrera had been under surveillance for a long time. De la Cruz was allegedly among the “target personalities” for various charges.
Modequillo said the raid happened in the home of de la Cruz, 29, also known as “Jason Killer,” along Sampaguita Street, Barangay 175 in Caloocan City.
Modequillo said Hilario, who was part of the raiding team, was shot in the head by de la Cruz after police barged into his house by ramming the front door.
“After the door was broken wide open, Jason Killer shot at the policemen, which hit a policeman in the head,” Modequillo said.
Hilario was rushed to the hospital where he died at 6 a.m., Friday.
A few hours after the raid on de la Cruz’s home, Caloocan police proceeded to Bagong Silang to arrest alleged accomplice Herrera. He was killed in the operation.
Modequillo said de la Cruz and Herrera were the “hitmen” who killed drug pushers who failed to “pay up” to syndicates that provided them with drugs to sell.
Over the past weeks, at least three teens were killed by Caloocan police during its anti-crime operations – Kian de los Santos, Carl Arnaiz and his friend Ralph de Guzman.
De los Santos, whom police accused of being a drug courier, was shot dead in Aug. 16 amid claims by a witness and CCTV footage that the 17-year-old was unarmed and pleading for his life.
On Aug. 18, Arnaiz, who was accused of trying to rob a taxi driver was also killed by responding policemen who claimed that the 19-year-old engaged them in a shootout. His alleged accomplice and friend, de Guzman, was found 10 days later floating in a river in Gapan, Nueva Ecija.
De Guzman’s body bore signs of torture prior to his death, according to forensic experts. RJ CARBONELL