Illegal drugs seen as motive in two ‘salvage’ cases in Iloilo

Photo Courtesy of Aaron Lloyd Refoyo via Radyo Bistado FB page

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Illegal drugs appeared to be the most plausible motive behind two “salvage” incidents in Iloilo province.

The first incident happened on March 23 in Tigbauan town while the second one was on March 26 with the victim surviving the slay attempt.

Salvage is slang for summary execution in the Philippines. It was first used during the Martial Law period when victims of summary killings were fished out or “salvaged” from rivers and creeks where the bodies were dumped.

Major Rolando Araño,  Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) spokesperson, said the victims appeared to have links to the illegal drug trade.

Allen Sanchez, a resident of Barangay Sto Niño Norte, Arevalo, Iloilo City, was allegedly a drug personality.

When Sanchez’s body was found at Barangay Linobayan, Tigbauan on Thursday, a bag was also found in his possession.

Aside from two identification cards, the bag also contained three sachets of suspected shabu, a sachet of dried marijuana leaves, drug paraphernalia including a digital weighing scale, and other personal belongings.

On the other hand, Glen Paloma, 29, of Barangay Aganan Riverside, Pavia, Iloilo but is said to be staying at City Proper, Iloilo City, was arrested for alleged drug peddling.

He was subjected to a buy-bust operation in 2016 and was released through a plea bargaining agreement in October 2022.

“Halos pareho sila background,” Araño said.

Both were hogtied and shot and were left to die not far from the road.

Paloma, however, survived.

“We believed that someone from within their group might have done it,” Araño said.

He added that it’s been a common thing among drug gangs to kill someone who will try to “double cross” them.

“Siguro wala ni sila kabayad. They could have also ignored demands for them to pay the supply they got,” Araño said.

If the two had been taken against their will, there could have been reports of an abduction incident. But in their case, none was reported.

Prior to this, two riders were also killed on February 27 by the roadside in Pavia, Iloilo.

A sling bag was recovered from the motorcycle of Michael Quizon, 31, of Barangay San Isidro, Jaro, Iloilo and Kenneth Limbaco, 25, of Barangay Desamparados, Jaro, Iloilo City.

The bag contained three sachets of suspected shabu, drug paraphernalia, and P100,000 cash.

Araño, who was then the Pavia police chief, said their investigation also led to illegal drugs as the motive of the killing.

Police have persons of interest but they have no identity of the lone gunman.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Leo Francisco, Western Visayas police chief, said he already ordered the IPPO to closely look into the cases.

“I told them to investigate and give due attention. Appropriate intervention is being done,” he said.

Francisco said they would soon release an update on the investigation of the two cases.

The region’s top cop also assured that Ilonggos have no reason to get alarmed since the police are doing everything they could to get to the bottom of the incident.