Four Chinese nationals were killed Tuesday in a joint drug bust operation of police, military, and anti-narcotics agents in Zambales that yielded over 500 kilos of suspected methamphetamine or “shabu” worth P3.4 billion—the government's biggest drug haul for the year.
Operatives from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Region 3 and the Philippine National Police Regional Office 3 raided a resort in Barangay Libertador, Candelaria, Zambales that led to a shootout between the Chinese suspects and authorities, the PNP said.
“During the operation, the suspects fired shots at the operatives that forced them to fight back. This resulted in the death of the 4 Chinese nationals," PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said.
The foreigners killed were identified as Gao Manzhu, Hong Jianshe, and Eddie Tan from Fujian, China, and Youhua Xu, a resident of Quezon City.
Eleazar said the Chinese in the resort had been under surveillance for a long time prior to Tuesday's bust.
"Based on information we have gathered, the drugs are being unloaded in international waters and then pulled back to shore through strings attached to the sacks," Eleazar said.
Authorities recovered in the resort some 25 sacks of alleged drugs, each weighing 20 kilos. These were set to be repacked in tea bags and would be distributed all over the Philippines, the PNP said.
Also seized at the crime scene were four guns, four cell phones, two Chinese passports, and one sport utility vehicle.
Police are finding out where the drugs are supposed to be sent.
The operation was conducted at around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday when government anti-narcotics operatives managed to negotiate the purchase of shabu.
The four Chinese died on the spot after they allegedly tried to fight it out with the police, military, and PDEA operatives in a bid to escape.
PNP Region 3 chief Gen. Valeriano De Leon once again lauded the law enforcers for the successful operation, saying they will continuously conduct proactive operations to achieve their quest for a drug-free Central Luzon.
Eleazar commended the police teams who worked closely with the PDEA and other police units for the successful anti-illegal drug operation.