Ambush at Makati gas station linked to drug war

By Mike Frialde, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 25 2014 08:56 AM | Updated as of May 25 2014 04:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The ambush-slaying of a 27-year-old man at a gas station in Barangay Pio del Pilar, Makati City on Friday could be linked to a turf war between two drug trafficking groups operating in Makati and Pasay cities, police said yesterday.

“There is a big possibility,” said Makati police chief Senior Superintendent Manuel Lukban when asked if the killing of Mark Felizardo Baggang was related to illegal drug trade.

Baggang was behind the wheel of his black Toyota Vios without license plates at the gas station when at least three unidentified gunmen surrounded his car.

Police said the assailants opened fire with a 9mm pistol, a .45 caliber pistol and an M-16 rifle, killing the victim on the spot.

The gunmen fled toward Pasay City in a maroon car. Witnesses, however, failed to jot down the getaway car’s plate number, police said.

Lukban earlier told reporters that Baggang had been receiving death threats prior to the ambush. Someone had fired shots at the victim’s house last month, he said.

The Makati police chief said investigators are looking into Baggang’s possible link to a drug ring after police officers found shabu and drug paraphernalia in the victim’s car.

A police source said eight sachets of shabu with a street value of P160,000 were recovered from Baggang’s car after the killing.

The victim was allegedly involved in drug trafficking, the source said.

“He has leveled up from car theft to drug pushing,” said the police source who declined to be identified.

Lukban said the hit on the victim was well-planned based on the number of bullets used in the attack.

Investigators said at least 100 shells and slugs were recovered at the gas station located at the corner of Evangelista and Arguelles streets.

Police said Baggang suffered 27 bullet wounds in the head and upper body.

The gunmen could have followed the victim from his house and waited for an opportunity to kill him when he fueled up at a gas station in Makati.

Lukban said members of the victim’s household told police that Baggang left home after receiving a phone call.

He said Baggang could be on his way to meet a potential buyer when the attack happened.