Spanish man killed in Surigao Norte buy-bust

A Spanish man was killed in a shootout during a buy-bust at around 1:50 a.m. on Wednesday in Barangay 3, General Luna town in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, police said.

Police said Diego Lapuente, considered by the Police Regional Office in Caraga Region (PRO-13), is a high-value target and ranked at the top of the police's regional drug personality.

In a report, the Surigao del Norte Police Provincial Office (SDNPPO) said the buy-bust was carried out by a team consisting of the General Luna Police,1302 Mobile Company of Regional Mobile Force, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

SDNPPO said Lapuente opened fire after sensing that he was dealing with a police operative, prompting the authorities to fire back, resulting in the suspect's death.

Recovered from the scene included 10 grams of cocaine, marked money worth PHP30,000, and a caliber .45 pistol.

Police said Lapuente was brought to Siargao Island District Hospital but was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician.

PRO-13 director, Brig. Gen. Joselito T. Esquivel, commended the police operatives and local residents of General Luna for their "continued support" of the government's anti-drug campaign.

Known as the country's surfing capital, General Luna is a haven for foreigners who are lured by the island's white-sand beaches, year-round waves, and laid-back atmosphere.

Source: Philippines News Agency


Monitoring intensified at Mactan airport vs. mysterious disease

The Bureau of Quarantine in Region 7 (Central Visayas) on Wednesday assured the public it is on heightened surveillance to prevent the mysterious disease discovered in China from entering Cebu.

BOQ-7 chief, Dr. Terence Anthony Bermejo said they have intensified the monitoring on passengers arriving or departing for China, particularly those who come from Wuhan, the city where the mysterious virus was allegedly discovered.

The disease discovered in Wuhan remains unknown.

Bermejo said although there are no instructions yet from the BOQ central office as the national government is waiting for advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), they raised their surveillance status as there is a number of direct flights from China to Cebu.

Mactan airport receives at least 10 direct flights from mainland China every day, excluding the daily flights from Macau and Hong Kong, he said.

The new Panglao-Bohol International Airport has one daily direct flight from China, he added.

As of now, we are on a heightened surveillance in case a passenger is detected in our thermal camera having high body temperature, we will pluck him out of the queue and have him evaluated by our duty doctor at the airport, Bermejo said during the Kapihan sa PIA at the Department of Health (DOH) regional office here.

To date, Mactan airport has two static thermal-imaging cameras and three handheld thermal scanners at the international arrival terminal.

He also said the agency remains strict with the free pratique clearance to foreign vessels entering the Philippine waters.

Under this protocol, foreign cargo vessels or bulk carriers with crew will not be allowed to dock at any Philippine port of call if the vessel has not been checked with the quarantine officers while in the pratique dock site off the breakwater while hoisting the yellow flag.

DOH-7 regional director, Dr. Jaime Bernadas, meanwhile, encouraged Cebuanos to keep healthy, avoid stress as much as possible, have a balanced diet and maintain good hygiene practices to boost the immune system and avoid contracting diseases.

He said the DOH-7 has a standby isolation room at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center which was activated at the height of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus outbreak in 2003, in case a person experiencing symptoms of the mysterious disease enters the province.

Source: Philippines News Agency