MANILA - (UPDATE) A total of 21 suspected drug users were killed in simultaneous province-wide anti-illegal drug operations in Bulacan from Monday night to Tuesday morning, according to the police.
Some of the fatalities were identified as aliases Egoy, Tom, Enan, Justin, Berth, Alvin, Chris, Jerom, Yayot, Allan Tatô, Arnold, Willy, Jeffery, Elias, Eugene, Macoy, and one Pugeng Manyak.
All of these drug suspects figured in an armed encounter against the police conducting the operations, said Senior Superintendent Romeo Caramat of the Bulacan provincial police.
Camarat said the big-time operation, which consists of 26 buy-bust operations and 2 serving of search warrants, also yielded 64 arrests.
The police were also able to seize 100.25 grams of suspected shabu, 17 revolvers, 2 improvised shotguns, a 9mm pistol and a caliber .32 pistol, he said.
'NORMAL' DEATH TOLL
PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos said the incident's death toll was only "normal" given the number of raids conducted.
"If there were 22 or 25 operations conducted, ibig sabihin normal siya. Pero kung halimbawa, iyan ay single operation that resulted to that number of deaths, may titingnan po talaga," Carlos told reporters at Camp Crame.
"Nabanggit ko nga na maraming operations. It only shows na ang Bulacan, they're really doing their part in the anti-drug war."
The PNP Internal Affairs Service however will still investigate the raid, Carlos said.
"Automatic po iyun kasi firearms were used... SOP (standard operating procedure) na po iyan para natitingnan kung mayroong paglabag o mali sa regulation ng PNP, natitingnan agad,"he explained.
--Report from Henry Atuelan, ABS-CBN News