Three men died after allegedly trading shots with lawmen who conducted separate buy-bust operations in Nueva Ecija early Friday, police reported.
Killed were June Arimbuyutan, 42; one Ryan de Jesus; and a certain Emerson Manuzon, according to reports from the Nueva Ecija Police Provincial Office.
Arimbuyutan, a resident of Cabanatuan City who has been in the local drug watchlist and monitored by police for months, was killed in the operation in Barangay San Ricardo, Talavera, around 1:30 a.m.
He was about to be arrested but apparently sensed that he sold shabu to an undercover policeman, and initiated a shootout, police said.
Operatives seized 10 grams or P68,000 worth of suspected shabu, a caliber-.38 revolver, and a tricycle from Arimbuyutan.
Around 2:45 a.m., De Jesus, also of Cabanatuan, was killed during another buy-bust operation that reportedly ended in a shootout, in Brgy. Balbalungao, Lupao.
Police seized a sachet of suspected shabu, a .9mm pistol, and a motorcycle from the slain suspect.
Less than an hour later, around 3:30 a.m., Manuzon was killed when he also reportedly shot it out with lawmen who carried out a sting in Brgy. Picaleon, Gen. Natividad town.
Lawmen confiscated a sachet of suspected shabu and a caliber-.38 revolver from Manuzon.
The suspected illegal drugs seized from the three operations is estimated to be worth P82,000, according to police.