Police officer killed during a drug-related operation in Samar

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PO1 Gary Cabaguing was a father of two. He died while serving an arrest warrant to an alleged drug pusher earlier today in Marabut, Samar. (image credit: MANUELITO S. UY)

A police officer was killed and another one wounded during an early morning operation in Brgy. Logero in the town of Marabut.

P/Insp. Niño Cabañas of Marabut PNP revealed that the incident took place while they were implementing a search warrant against a suspected drug user, Ernesto Gonzales for violating the Dangerous Drugs Act and Illegal Possession of Firearms.

The police inspector also confirmed that the victim, PO1 Gary Cabaguing of the Samar Provincial Public Safety Company died in an instant after getting shot in the head by Gonzales who was hiding in a foxhole.

Cabaguing was not the only victim during the said operation. Another officer, PO1 Nestor Villanueva was injured after he was hit during the firefight. He is now being treated at a nearby hospital.

Cabañas narrated how the target fired at the operatives while secretly hiding in a man-made trench. The fact that the shooting happened before the cops tried to enter the suspect’s house means that Gonzales was prepared to resist the warrant.

After a minute-long encounter, the suspect found a way to escape and is now believed to be in hiding. However, authorities still believe that Gonzales has not gone far and is still somewhere in the municipality.

After clearing the area, the police recovered several drug paraphernalia which include 3 packets of a powdery substance suspected to be ‘shabu’. Illegal firearms were also found in the premises: magazine assemblies, different types of ammunition, an improvised shotgun, and one piece of grenade.

The officers and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) operatives were also shocked to discover the said foxhole which was strategically built under the house. There was also an improvised warning device that enabled the suspect to check and monitor suspicious movements within his compound.

After the said incident, a nonstop manhunt followed and is still in progress.