Three killed in Baseco raid

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(FILE PHOTO) The police operation comes in response to Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagaoso’s order to eliminate illegal drug activity in Baseco on August 1.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 12) — Three people were killed when police officers raided Baseco Compound in Manila on Sunday, an area believed to be infested with illegal criminal activity, the Manila Police District (MPD) said.

MPD Director Brigadier General Vicente Danao said the three persons tried to flee the area that was guarded by surrounding policemen, resulting in a firefight. One officer was also injured from the encounter. He emphasized that the shootout was just a “chance encounter.”

Kasi tumtakbo eh tumatakbo ‘yung tao palabas ng exit at noong haharangin at sisitahin sana, ‘yun nga nanlaban in broad daylight,” Danao explained to CNN Philippines’ Newsroom Ngayon.

[Translation: The persons were running away, towards the exit (of the police perimeter) and when police were about to block their way and confront them, they fought back in broad daylight]

Danao said they rounded up 700 individuals caught in illegal activity such as possessing firearms and illegal drugs while some were violating city ordinances such as drinking in public. Police also confiscated 50 grams of shabu and 15 sachets of marijuana.

They charged 21 people for possession of illegal drugs while the rest were reprimanded and let go, he added.

This operation comes in response to Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso’s order to eliminate illegal drug activity in Baseco on August 1. The mayor gave law enforcement a week to clear the area of drugs, resulting in the arrest of 35 suspects. Moreno at that time lauded the police for ensuring no one was killed in their pursuit.

Danao admitted that clearing the area of crime remains a challenge for the police, considering the size and volume of residents in the populated area. Baseco spans 39,000 hectares and houses around 50,000 people, Danao described. Meanwhile, there are only 100 officers stationed in the compound.

Sa ngayon hindi po natin kayang i-stop (crime) nang ganoong kadali pero at least nababawasan,” Danao said.

[Translation: For now, we cannot stop crime that easily, but at least it is decreasing.]