THREE armed crime suspects in Socksargen region were killed in separate gunbattles with the police in South Cotabato province this week, Police Regional Office 12 director, Brigadier General Alfred S. Corpus announced yesterday.
“Again, I am warning lawless elements in Region 12 that our men are always ready to defend themselves in case you offer an armed resistance. Please do not exacerbate the situation if the lawful authorities holds you, try not to escape and fight back for it is our duty also to protect ourselves to protect more people and the community,” said Corpus.
One of the suspects identified as Aman Ben Abdulmajid Goling, an employee of the local Department of Environment and Natural Resources wanted for his involvement in illegal drug trafficking activities in the province was killed in a shootout with undercover officers in Tantangan, South Cotabato at 7:30 p.m. last Wednesday, the official said.
According to Corpus, agents from the South Cotabato Police Provincial Office and the Koronadal City Police Station Drug Enforcement Units conducted a joint operation to neutralize the ‘high-value target’ along the national highway in Barangay San Felipe, Tantangan municipality.
During the sting, the suspect, a resident of Block 4, Lot 45, Phase 2, San Antonio Village, Bgy. Sta. Cruz who uses the alias ‘Salman’ sensed he was dealing with a cop and drew a concealed firearm before boarding his SUV and fleeing towards the direction of the nearby Bgy. Morales.
Corpus said that officers gave chase and cornered the suspect in front of the Socoteco office located along the national highway in Purok Spring 1 where they tried to convince the suspect to yield peacefully but failed.
The PRO12 director said that officers were forced to retaliate when the suspect started shooting at them. The known ‘HVT’ was hit and died while being taken to the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital.
Recovered at the scene were five heat-sealed plastic sachets containing suspected shabu, a marked bill paid to the suspect by the agent, a caliber .38 revolver with two live ammunition and several spent shells, a holster and a black Toyota Fortuner whose record is still being checked by the police with the Land Transportation Office and the Highway Patrol Group.
Corpus said the two other suspects were killed in a shootout with police and military troops who went after them following reports they stole a motorcycle at gunpoint in Tupi, Koronadal City.
The official said that members of the Koronadal City Police Station, the 1st South Cotabato Provincial Mobile Force Company, South Cotabato HPG, Tupi Municipal Police Station, South Cotabato PPO’s DEU and the Army’s 27th Infantry Battalion pursued the suspects after they stole a motorcycle in Purok 4, Bgy. Poblacion in Tupi.
Corpus said the suspects later engaged officers in a shootout in Purok Mabuhay in Bgy. Avanceña, Koronadal City where they were gunned down. The slain suspects yielded a cal. .38 revolver with three live ammunition and a spent casing and a chamber-loaded pistol.
He added that also recovered at the scene was the stolen RS150cc motorcycle of Rhea Lorraine Tecson.