BAGUIO CITY – The top drug personality in the Cordillera was killed while his three alleged cohorts were arrested by combined police operatives and anti-narcotics and intelligence agents during an anti-illegal operation in his hideout at Manuel Roxas St. Lower Brookside, here, Saturday night.
Senior Superintendent George D. Daskeo, City Director of the Baguio City Police Office, identified the fatality as Testy Sotero, of legal age, a resident of Ucab, Itogon, Benguet, the top drug personality in the region. Daskeo further named the cohorts as Reservoir Pablo Quelala, 35, married, apartment owner and of Lower Brookside, Baguio City; Leopoldo Prigilla Helaryo, Jr., 35, single unemployed and resident of Upper Market Subdivision, Baguio City and Jonard Wansi Manuel, 26, single, unemployed, a resident of Upper Market Subdivision, Baguio City and a native of Ambassador Tublay, Benguet.
“We were supposed to serve the warrant of arrest against Sotero in his suspected hideout when he opted to engage the operating troops to a shootout that resulted to his being killed. The death of the region’s top drug personality will be a big blow to the illegal drug operations regionwide.
Confiscated from the notorious drug personality and his cohorts were a loaded caliber 22 revolver and an empty cartridge that was used by the accused Sotero. Also recovered at the crime scene were several glass vials containing brown crystalline substance of various weights; several heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance; improvised glass tooters, an undetermined volume of shabu, as well as other paraphernalia usually used in shabu business.
Responding police operatives and elements of the Scene of the Crime Operation (SOCO) team recovered from the crime scene multiple spent shells of calibre .45 pistol.
The arrested cohorts of the suspect were subsequently brought to the BCPO headquarters for further questioning while the remains of the suspect was brought to a local funeral parlor.
Daskeo said the death of the notorious drug personality in the region should serve as the final warning to those who are involved in the illegal drug trade to give up such illegal activity or face the consequences of their illegal actions.
By Dexter A. See