SHOOTOUT. A policeman examines the pieces of evidence seized from two illegal drug traders killed in a shootout Tuesday (Aug. 23, 2022) in the town of Akbar, Basilan province. The shootout ensued when one of the two suspects allegedly pulled a handgun and opened fire upon sensing they were transacting with undercover policemen. (Photo courtesy of the Basilan Police Provincial Office)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Two alleged illegal drug traders were killed in a shootout at sea with joint police and military authorities in Basilan  province, a top police official said Wednesday.

Colonel Pedro Martirez Jr., Basilan police director, identified the slain suspects as Macsud Cuevas, 45, a resident of Barangay Bohelebong, Tipo Tipo, and Dasman Kilala, a resident of Bubuan Island, Tabuan Lasa.

Martirez said the two were killed in a shootout at sea around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday off Barangay Semut, Akbar, Basilan province.

The shootout ensued when Cuevas allegedly pulled out a .45-caliber pistol and opened fire upon sensing they were transacting illegal drugs with undercover policemen.

However, Martirez said the troops returned fire and chased the fleeing suspects, fatally hitting Cuevas. Kilala, the boat operator, was also hit during the shootout.

Both suspects died instantaneously.

Martirez said the troops recovered from the suspects some 20 grams of suspected shabu worth PHP140,000, a .45-caliber pistol with ammunition, a cellular phone, 89 pieces of PHP1,000 bill replica used as boodle money topped with PHP500 marked money, and a motorboat.

He said the remains of the suspects were taken to Basilan Provincial Forensic Unit, including the suspected shabu and firearm, for examination. (PNA)