ARRESTED DRUG SUSPECT. Drug suspect Vincent Delos Reyes was unharmed following a shootout that resulted in the death of William Dionisio, a suspected drug dealer on Sunday (Sept. 11, 2022) in Barangay Bunguiao, Zamboanga City. The suspect, together with his slain cohort, are allegedly involved in selling illegal drugs in the village. (Photo courtesy of Zamboanga City Police Office)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – A suspect died while 10 others were arrested in a series of drug busts that resulted in the dismantling of three drug dens that yielded PHP775,200 worth of illegal drugs in this city, police officials said Monday.

Col. Richard Verceles, operations chief of the PNP Area Police Command-Western Mindanao, said 38-year-old William Dionisio died in a shootout with policemen in Sitio Pinya, Barangay Bungiao around 5:13 p.m. Sunday.

Based on investigation, Dionisio sensed he was dealing with an undercover police officer and pulled out his handgun and fired but missed.

Police officers hiding nearby returned fire and hit Dionisio twice on the chest and died on the spot.  

He said Dionisio’s cohort, 35-year-old Vincent Delos Reyes, was arrested.

Col. Alexander Lorenzo, city police director, said Dionisio is the supplier of illegal drugs in Barangay Bunguiao and neighboring areas.

“He is considered the leader of the evolving local drug group operating on the east coast (of the city) and involved in a series of atrocities in Barangay Bunguiao that remained unreported,” Lorenzo said.

Lorenzo said Dionisio was linked to other criminal activities like 'contract killing', robberies, hold-ups, extortion, carnapping, and cattle rustling on the city's east coast.

Recovered from their hideout were 60 grams of suspected shabu worth PHP408,000, an M2 Carbine rifle, a KG9 9mm pistol, a .45-caliber pistol, a mobile phone, 79 pieces of PHP1,000 boodle money, and one marked PHP1,000 bill.

Delos Reyes, meanwhile, was detained at the city police headquarters pending the filing of charges against him.

On Saturday, Regional Director Emerson Margate of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said their agents backed by policemen arrested nine persons and seized 54 grams of suspected shabu worth PHP367,200 in three drug dens along Don Toribio Street, Barangay Tetuan here.

Margate said Saudi Zamora, who maintained one of the drug dens, and two visitors identified as Jhamar Zamora and Edsel Dennis Macrohon were arrested around 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Seized from their possession were 20 grams of suspected shabu worth PHP129,200.

About 15 minutes later, joint PDEA and police agents collared suspect Emil Pakirulla and visitors Wilson Jetonso, and Arnold Quartocruz.

Authorities recovered 19 grams of suspected shabu worth PHP129,000 from their possession.

The PDEA-police team later arrested suspects Roseller Saavedra, Edgardo Bagsic, and Allein Duran and seized 15 grams of suspected shabu worth PHP102,000.

Charges will be filed against all nine suspects, Margate said. (PNA)