LEGAZPI CITY: A retired soldier killed a young officer of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Masbate City during an anti-drug campaign before midnight on Saturday, Police Senior Inspector Maria Luisa “Malu” Calubaquid said. The retired soldier was later killed by a fellow policeman.
Police Inspector Benjie Calixto, 23, an intelligence officer of Masbate police provincial command, lost his precious life after he was allegedly shot by a former Army soldier in anti-drug campaign.
Calixto, who is newly wedded and a resident of Espinosa village, Masbate City was shot by Cesar Punsalan Jr., 36, a former member of Philippine Army and a resident of Pinamarbuhan, Mobo town.
Calubaquid said that the victim along with intelligence operatives of Masbate City police were conducting surveillance operation against anti-illegal drugs within the city proper when the incident took place.
“Police Inspector Benjie Calixto was gunned down in front of Villa Concepcion Subdivision in Barangay Ibingay, Masbate City at 10:30 in the evening while conducting anti-illegal drugs surveillance,” she told The Manila Times.
Police investigation disclosed that while the victim together with intelligence operatives of Masbate City police were conducting surveillance operation against anti-illegal drugs within the city proper, while passing at said place, the suspect who are under the influence of liquor were engaged in a heated argument.
“When the victim identified himself as police officer and pacified them, he was shot by the suspect hitting on the different parts of his body which resulted to his instantaneous death,” she said.
Before the victim fell down, he managed to shot back against the suspect. PO1 Roy Balonzo, 29, of Masbate City police and an intel operative who was with the victim, also retaliated and shot the suspect causing his untimely death.
Since the implementation of Oplan Tokhang, over 25,000 drug users and 1,388 drug pushers have surrendered across the region. The provinces of Camarines Sur and Albay have the highest number of surrenderees followed Camarines Norte, Masbate and Sorsogon.
Catanduanes has the least number of drug pushers and users who surrendered.
RHAYDZ B. BARCIA