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Ex-cop in drug list, two others killed in South Cotabato buy bust

March 26, 2020

A former police officer, who is in a government drug list,  and two other alleged drug suspects were killed in a buy bust  in Polomolok, South Cotabato last Wednesday evening.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Lino Capellan, PNP Region 12 spokesman, said  police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operation was conducted around 7:15 pm in front of a cemetery at Barangay Cannery Site in Polomolok.

This resulted in the neutralization of Joel Labuen, 38, a former PNP member, including his two companions.

Capellan said Labuen noticed that he was transacting with a police officer. Before the poseur buyer signaled, the suspects drew their pistols which resulted to a gunfight.

“Subsequently, his other companion on board of a motorcycle also drew a pistol and shot (at) the operating team. Then he sped towards Purok Aquino Gate of said barangay and was chased by the team until he was cornered inside the Perlan compound. The place (was) the residence of the mother-in-law of the target suspect, where another shootout between the suspect and operating team ensued,” he said.

Labuen and his two companions suffered gunshot wounds and were  brought to Howard Hubbard Memorial Hospital in Polomolok but they were declared dead on arrival (DOA) by the attending physician. 

Recovered from the scene were the P500 buy-bust money, four heat-sealed transparent plastics sachet containing white crystalline substance believed to be shabu, firearms and ammunition.

Capellan said Labuen was assigned at Polomolok Municipal Police Station before he was dismissed from the service due to his continued involvement in illegal drug activities.

“The latter was also included in the Inter-Agency Drug Information Database List,” he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS