The Duterte administration’s anti-drug war has killed its first big-time Chinese drug lord.
Meco Tan was shot to death by combined personnel of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Special Enforcement Services (PDEA-SES) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) at 4:10 a.m. on Thursday, on T. Santiago Street near Willex Compound in Brgy. Lingunan, Valenzuela City.
Ismael Fajardo Jr., officer of PDEA-SES, said Tan was killed after he fired shots at authorities while trying to escape.
Tan sustained several gunshot wounds in the body.
Fajardo said Tan would not have been killed if he did not fire shots at the PDEA-SES and PNP men.
The PDEA-SES and PNP operatives were on their way to the Willex Compound on Pinagbayanan Street to serve the search warrant issued by the court.
Upon seeing the authorities going toward Willex Compound, Tan quickly boarded his car and fled along T. Santiago Street, Fajardo said.
Tan opened fire at the authorities, prompting the latter to fire at him, which resulted in his death, Fajardo added.
After this, the PDEA-SES and the PNP said seven Chinese nationals, consisting of four men and three women, and a Filipina were arrested.
Police said they read the Miranda rights to the suspects before they were arrested.
They will be investigated for their possible connections with Tan’s drug syndicate.
Authorities also confiscated several sacks of chemicals and equipment allegedly being used to manufacture shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride).
The PNP chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, said Tan was the first big-time Chinese drug lord killed in the anti-drug operation of the Duterte administration.
De la Rosa hinted that more Chinese drug lords would die if they tried to put up a fight against authorities.
Glenn Mapalad, PDEA public affairs office chief, said intelligence reports showed that in 2003 Tan operated a shabu laboratory in Naic, Cavite, where 600 kilograms of shabu were seized.
Mapalad said Tan was also involved in the operation of a shabu laboratory at Scout Chuatoco, Quezon City, where 70 kilograms of shabu and 3,500 kilograms of ephedrine had been confiscated.