MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - At least 13 drug suspects who allegedly resisted arrest were killed in simultaneous anti-drug operations in Bulacan province north of Manila, police said Friday.
Shootouts occurred in the towns of Bocaue, Pandi, Sta. Maria, Malolos, Plaridel, Pulilan, San Jose del Monte, Baliwag, and San Rafael, the provincial police chief, Director Romeo Caramat, Jr. told DZMM.
Anti-drug operations began as early as dawn and continued until Friday afternoon, said Police Senior Inspector Epamela Sarsaba.
"Ito pong mga suspek natin na namatay during operation ay talaga pong nanlaban," she told DZMM, noting that police also recovered firearms from the slain suspects.
Policemen who conducted the drug busts however were not wearing any body cameras, Sarsaba said.
"Yung iba kasi wala naman talaga tayong naka-issue na bodycam sa province natin sa Bulacan so wala tayong nakasuot na bodycam during operation," she said.
Fifty-eight others drug suspects, including high value target Mariano De Leon, commonly known as actor Julio Diaz, were arrested, a statement from the Bulacan Police Provincial Office said.
As of 12 noon, 216 sachets of shabu and 1 brick and 26 sachets of marijuana amounting to P488,439 were seized from 46 buy-bust operations, 1 checkpoint, and 2 authorized searches, police said.
At least 15 firearms were also seized from drug suspects.
PNP Spokesperson Chief Supt. John Bulalacao meanwhile said the series of drug busts in Bulacan is proof that drug syndicates are "fierce and are ready to put a fight against the law enforcers."
"Let this serve as a reminder to the PNP operatives to be careful and cautious in their operations to preclude becoming casualties during anti-illegal drugs operations," he said.