ILOILO City – Police shot and killed two illegal drug suspects in a sting operation in Barangay Centro Poblacion, Culasi, Antique.
Hernan Calfoforo, 32, of Barangay Tabuc Suba, Jaro district and Fidel Natabio, 18, of Molo were linked to the suspected drug lord Richard “Buang” Prevendido, police said.
Armed with revolvers, the suspects shot the officers out to arrest them, prompting the latter to fire back, said Senior Inspector Marc Dado, Culasi police chief.
Calfoforo sold two sachets of shabu to a police asset and an undercover officer for P1,000 around 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 11, Dado said.
“When my officer told him that it was a buy-bust operation, Calfoforo ran to his van for cover and fired at us using a .38 revolver,” said Dado.
Police officers firing back hit Calfoforo on the chest. Natabio tried to shoot a policeman but Dado shot him first on the body.
Both suspects were pronounced dead at the Culasi District Hospital.
Calfoforo and Natabio were members of the Prevendido drug group and classified “high-value targets” in Antique since 2015, Dado said in a phone interview.
It took three weeks before the police asset and the undercover officer got the suspects to agree to meet in Culasi, said Dado, who also heads the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit of the Antique Police Provincial Office.
Calfoforo would drive an Iloilo-Antique passenger van and proceed to Barangay Caticlan, Malay, Aklan, where he gets his supply.
Then he would drive to Sara, Iloilo where he would drop the supply to be redistributed across northern Iloilo, said Dado.
“Natabio was his assistant,” Dado said. “When Prevendido was still active in the drug trade, the suspects got their supply from him.”
Authorities have yet to find Prevendido.
Operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Police Regional Office 6 have been looking for him since October last year after a raid on his house in Barangay Bakhaw, Mandurriao yielded sachets of shabu.
But they were unsuccessful.
PDEA deputy regional director Levi Ortiz theorized that his family was coddling Prevendido.
“Those protecting Prevendido may be charged criminally with harboring a criminal,” said Ortiz. “It is impossible that his family and relatives have no contact with him.”/PN