Law enforcers shot and killed suspected drug lord Meco Tan in an encounter in Valenzuela before dawn Friday.
Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said authorities were supposed to serve a search warrant in one of the shabu laboratories operated by Tan when the suspected drug lord tried to flee.
"Nang sumibat, hinabol ng ating kapulisan, at pinutukan niya yung mga pulis nating humahabol. In fact, may tama yung windshield ng highway patrol car. May tama. So, pinutukan siya hanggang namatay," said Dela Rosa.
The PNP chief said Tan is the first Chinese drug lord neutralized under the Duterte administration. Law enforcers have also neutralized suspected drug lord Jeffrey "Jaguar" Diaz in Cebu.
Dela Rosa said he is happy that the police are able to neutralize a bigtime drug lord, contrary to the criticism that only small-time street pushers are caught in their anti-drug drive.
"Ito na nakita ninyo. Ito na yung malaking drug lord, ito na high-value target na namatay. Hintay lang. Hintay lang kayo. Wag kayong magmadali. Marami pa tayong mapapatay dyan na high-value targets. Hintayin lang ninyo," he said.
Dela Rosa described Tan's operation as "very big," as he has been operating in the country for almost eight years.
"He was responsible for putting up drug laboratories, shabu laboratories here in Metro Manila that has been busted, and ngayon, patuloy pa rin yung kanyang ginagawa," he said.
Tan was the only one killed in the running gun battle, but seven other Chinese nationals were arrested in the drug laboratory after implementing the search warrant. Authorities also found ingredients for manufacturing shabu.
The seven Chinese nationals--four men and three women--will be investigated for their involvement in Tan's operation, according to Dela Rosa.