ORMOC CITY, Leyte, Sept. 4, (PNA) – A suspected high profile drug lord was killed during a police operation in the city Thursday morning.

City Director Police Sen. Supt Ferdinand M. Garay identified the fatality as Monasimban Gandamasser Limbona also known as “Simban”, the subject of the search warrant served by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

When CIDG arrived around 10 a.m. to serve the warrant, Simban allegedly escaped from his house through a secret exit and went hiding at the neighborhood’s wet grassland and rice field some 500 meters from his residence.

Garay said that while the operatives were pursuing the search at Limbona’s house in Tambulilid village, this city, the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs and Special Operations Task Group (RAIDSOTG) and the Ormoc police made a follow up at the subject’s neighborhood but were fired by Limbona.

The team, headed by Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido, returned fire to neutralize Limbona. Wounded, he was rushed to the hospital but pronounced dead on arrival by the attending physician.

The Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) recovered from Limbona’s possession one 9 mm. caliber pistol loaded with live bullets and two big sachets of suspected drugs.

Armed with search warrant, CIDG seized two cal. 45 firearms, three magazine assemblies with 16 live bullets, one unit fragmentation grenade and several drug paraphernalia in a search witnessed by representative from Department of Justice, village officials and media.

Previous drug raids of RAIDSOTG in fourth district of Leyte arrested several suspected personalities who were into illegal drug trade.

Espenido, who led the team, assured to capture the high profile drug lords operating in the city and nearby towns including Limbona, tagged as the city’s top drug lord.

He managed to escape from previous raids made by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) region, CIDG regional office and the local police.

Limbona had four standing warrants all related to drugs, according to Garay.

On his death, Garay assured “to run after new names likely to emerge in the illegal drug business”.

He also guaranteed to relentlessly conduct operations and closely work with village chairmen to identify those involved in illegal drug trade.

“Limbona’s death definitely affects the drug sale, however, we pledge to continuously run after those who are still engaging the illicit business that in fact currently some personalities are being monitored,” he said.

With the current arrests of suspected drug traders, “it sends a strong message that the police here are really working in protecting the people of Ormoc,” Garay said. (PNA)