The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) conducted a buy-bust operation in Wao, Lanao del Sur and arrested three notorious drug personalities after a firefight that left one drug personality dead and two others wounded, yesterday morning, January 9, 2012.
PDEA Director General Undersecretary Jose S. Gutierrez, Jr. identified the arrested suspects as Minda Ontawar, alyas Inang; Kadaffy Mimbalawag; and Bocari Abubakar, all residents of Barangay Kili-kili, Wao, Lanao del Sur. He further identified the fatality as alias Mike and the wounded as Baulo Ontawar, alias Ulo, and Tochi Cagas.
Operatives of PDEA Regional Office in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PDEA-ARMM) supported by the 8th Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (PA), conducted an entrapment operation against target drug personalities in Barangay Kili-kili, Wao, Lanao del Sur. During the conduct of the said operation, collaborators of the targets engaged the operating team in a firefight which lasted for 15-minutes.
“We are fortunate that we did not have any casualties on our side,” Gutierrez said, as he lauded the operating team, led by PDEA ARMM Regional Director Edwin Layese. Gutierrez said that members of the operating team were aware of the considerable risks involved when they conducted the operation in what is considered as an “untouchable area” in Lanao del Sur, because of the existence of private armed groups (PAGs) in the community.
The PDEA chief said this is not the first time that elements of PDEA-ARMM penetrated PAG-infested areas in Muslim Mindanao. In 2011, PDEA, with the support of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police, neutralized a total of three shabu tiangges and 19 drug dens in Cotabato, Maguindanao, and Marawi. Evangeline DJ Almenario, Chief, Public Information Office, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency