GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- Three alleged drug pushers, one of whom was reportedly included on President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s “narco list,” were killed in an anti-drug operation Monday along the diversion road in Barangay Katangawan here.

Chief Supt. Eliseo Tam Rasco, regional director of the Police Regional Office in Region 12 (PRO-12), said Tuesday the suspects were slain during a brief firefight with joint operatives following a buy-bust operation around noon.

Rasco identified the slain suspects as Rahimen Mariano Bisaya alias “Rah” of Purok Maguindanao, Barangay Lumakil in Polomolok, South Cotabato; Bernie Aguhar of Polomolok; and Abdul Hakem Udas of Barangay Apopong here.

A composite team led by elements from the Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit-12 initially conducted a buy-bust against Bisaya and his cohorts at a portion of the diversion road.

The operation, in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-12, was backed by elements from the Regional Intelligence Division-12, Regional Mobile Force Battalion-12, Polomolok Municipal Police Station, City Police Drug Enforcement Unit and the City Police Station 8.

During the entrapment, he said the suspects sold a sachet of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu worth PHP1,000 to a police officer who posed as a buyer.  

As other operatives approached to make the arrest, Rasco said the three tried to escape aboard a black mini “Saddam” truck with plate number 120103.

Rasco said the operating team put up a chase and eventually cornered the suspects.  

“Our team asked them to get out of the vehicle but the suspects refused and opened fire instead,” the police official said.

He said the team was forced to retaliate leading to a brief firefight that resulted in the fatal wounding of the suspects.

They were rushed to the Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital but were all declared dead upon arrival by attending doctors.

Recovered from the truck were a .45-caliber pistol with four live bullets, three spent shells of .45 caliber, a .38-caliber revolver with serial number PRO9009228, four .380caliver live bullets, an Uzi 9mm with serial number 855828 loaded with six live bullets, 16 spent shells, a black sling bag containing assorted personal belongings, a cloth pouch wallet containing nine sachets of suspected shabu, a lighter and the PHP1,000 marked bill used in the buy-bust.

Citing their records, Rasco said Bisaya had a standing arrest warrant for possession of dangerous drugs and illegal possession of firearms, ammunition, and explosive issued by a regional court in Polomolok.

Rasco added that Bisaya was listed as a “level 1 high-value target” on President Duterte’s drug list. (PNA)