BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The police here reported that a high-value individual escaped their operation on 28 August, a Friday.
The spot report of the City Drug Enforcement Unit listed a Suspect No. 9 as “Jennifer Mercader (at large),” one of nine alleged violators of anti-drug laws, suspected peddlers of shabu.
One of the nine was killed.
“He fired at us first,” Leo Estopa, a police captain who led the raid, told DNX.
The initial report did not mention any gun but Estopa said they found a. 38 revolver, a paltik (counterfeit) or “Smith and Waslik” as opposed to the genuine firearm.
Who is Jennifer Mercader? How did he escape?
Estopa said the local police’ intelligence unit had received tips from “concerned citizens” that Mercader had been renting a place at the sub-village of Florenceville since May this year, when the city was under lockdown.
The blotter identified Mercader as a “notorious drug personality” from Cebu.
Local police chief Col. Henry Binas told DNX Mercader is still actively distributing drugs in the Visayas, sourcing meth from Cebu and, probably, Ozamis City where the Parojinog drug group used to operate.
Cebu media had reported three years ago about Mercader, whose name was spelled in various Cebu papers as “Jiniffer.”
He was arrested on 2 September 2017 in Lugo village, Borbon town in Cebu province after police seized guns and alleged shabu from his house in nearby Cahel village.
The Cebu press also reported that neighbors of Mercader had been complaining against him for allegedly firing his gun indiscriminately.
He later confessed to have been an assassin and had been used by the government to kill at least 30 criminals.
On March 2019, he escaped the Medellin District Jail as he was about to be brought to a court hearing.
Like in 2019, Mercader also escaped policemen here.
“We did not know there was a backdoor,” Estopa said when asked why Mercader was able to escape.