On July 1, 2016, 8:00 AM, less than 24 hours after Duterte’s inauguration, another life was taken by the police. And this time, according to the PNP Provincial Director of Negros, Harris Fama, it served as a “welcoming gift to the new president.” 

Lito Belandres was a high profile drug personality in Negros and was an associate of another slain top drug personality Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz. Diaz was killed in an anti-illegal drug operation in Las Piñas. Because of this, Belandres went into hiding in Negros unware of the plans of the Negros Oriental police for another anti-illegal drug operation against him.  He was said to be a “level 2” type of drug pusher and when the police came to arrest him after a raid, he allegedly fought back and shot the police prompting them to shoot back and kill Belandres. 

This type of narrative is constantly present in the other anti-drug operations of the police, regardless if the target was a high profile or a low profile drug user.

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