Police operatives confiscated some PHP7.8 million worth of suspected shabu during a buy-bust operation in Barangay Concepcion here on Sunday that claimed the life of a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team leader. At a press conference, Iloilo City Police Office Director, Col. Joeresty Coronica, turned emotional when he reported that 42-year-old Staff Sgt. Michael Malan died during the operation. Malan, a resident of Barangay Calaparan, Arevalo district, has been with the police force for 15 years. 'The SWAT team augmented our police operatives. The armed suspect fired at the operating team while he was about to be arrested,' Coronica said. The buy-bust operation, led by the City Drug Enforcement Unit (CDEU) and joined by the regional police DEU, and Iloilo City Police Station 1, was conducted around 11:30 a.m. One of the suspects reportedly ran to his house after sensing that he was dealing with a poseur buyer, and later on fired at the operatives. The SWAT team rushed to the scene as operating cops requested for augmentation. While leading his team, Malan was shot in various parts of his body and sustained critical injuries. He was immediately rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. Meanwhile, the suspects decided to surrender after more than two hours of standoff. The three suspects were later identified only by their aliases 'Bong-Bong," "Ivan," and "Kate," so as not to preempt follow-up operations. The three are classified as high-value individuals (HVIs). Police operatives recovered 11 sachets of suspected shabu weighing 1,156 grams with an estimated value of PHP7.8 million, the PHP20,000 buy-bust money, and one 9mm Taurus handgun. Meanwhile, Mayor Jerry P. Treñas expressed his condolences to the family of the slain cop and vowed to support them in whatever way possible. Police Regional Office 6 Director, Brig. Gen. Sidney Villaflor, also expressed grief over the death of Malan. 'A noble life is once again lost in our battle against illegal drugs,' he said. 'May Malan's death rekindle the flames in our hearts to do our part to end the drug menace in our community. The police cannot do it alone, we need the full support of the community to attain a drug-free Western Visayas,' he added.
Source: Philippines News Agency