Suspected drug syndicate leader in Duterte watchlist killed in Cebu ops

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Cebu (CNN Philippines, August 13) — A suspected drug syndicate leader in President Rodrigo Duterte’s narco list was killed in an operation by local authorities in Cebu province on Thursday, police said.

Basilio "Nilo" Quirante, identified by the police as head of the Quirante drug and gun-for-hire syndicate, allegedly fired shots at authorities who were serving him an arrest warrant in a subdivision in Barangay Tungkil, Minglanilla town.

His companion, syndicate member Faustino Saromines Torres, also died in the joint operation of local police and drug enforcement agents.

Quirante has three warrants of arrest for multiple attempted murders, selling of illegal drugs, and maintenance of a drug den. He is the "Most Wanted Person" being tracked by the Dumanjug Police Station, also in Cebu.

Meanwhile, Torres is wanted for murder and two counts for frustrated murder. Police said he is also a top target of the Dumanjug station's manhunt, next to Quirante.

Authorities recovered a KG9 submachine gun, a 45 caliber pistol, various ammunition, and two empty shells from the house where Quirante and Torres were found. Some 35 small sachets of suspected shabu and drug paraphernalia were also seized.

In an online media briefing, Police Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro, regional director of the Central Visayas police, stressed that the suspects fired at the policemen in an attempt to evade arrest.

He warned other illegal drug syndicates operating in the region, “we will not stop until we catch all of you.”