BUY-BUST. Policemen and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency operatives arrested four suspects, including a policeman and three alleged contract killers, in separate anti-drug operations in Zamboanga City on Thursday (March 9, 2023). Seized from the three suspects (in photo) are some P102,000 worth of illegal drugs. (Photo courtesy of ZCPO)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – A policeman and three alleged contract killers yielded some PHP306,000 worth of illegal drugs and firearms after being separately arrested in this city, a top police official bared Thursday.

Col. Alexander Lorenzo, Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) director, said the three alleged contract killers were arrested by joint police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency personnel in an anti-drug operation around 9:15 a.m. Thursday in Barangay Cabatangan.

Lorenzo identified them as Jonathan Espina, Rodel Julian, and Dexter Herrera. Another cohort, Yamato Francisco, managed to escape.

Seized from the suspects were some 15 grams of suspected shabu worth PHP102,000, a .45-caliber pistol, a .38-caliber revolver, a .45-caliber replica, and other pieces of evidence.

Two of the suspects, Julian and Francisco, were involved in two recent shooting incidents in Barangays San Roque and Talisayan here, Lorenzo said.

Meanwhile, Master Sergeant Marlon Demaisip was arrested Thursday afternoon at the office of the Special Investigation Unit-Criminal Investigation and Detection Management Unit (SIU-CIDMU) of ZCPO.

Demaisip, 40, was arrested while in possession of a sling bag containing some 30 grams of suspected shabu worth PHP204,000.

Lorenzo said Demaisip was ordered to report to the SIU-CIDMU to shed light as the three suspects arrested in the buy-bust operation in Barangay Cabatangan pinpointed him as the group’s alleged mastermind.

Also seized from Demaisip were his service sidearm, two lighters, and other pieces of evidence.

Demaisip is currently assigned to the ZCPO Station 7 anti-illegal drug enforcement team. (PNA)