Terror group member shot dead in S. Cotabato

A KNOWN member of the Dawlah-Islamiyah terror group-turned drug trafficker in Central Mindanao was killed in a buy-bust operation which ended up in a gunbattle in Polomolok, South Cotabato early Tuesday afternoon, Police Regional Office 12 director, Brigadier General John Michael F. Dubria announced yesterday.

Joven Cabalo, a resident of Purok 4, Barangay Lapu in Polomolok was found in possession of a caliber .38 revolver with two spent cartridges and two live ammunition, a coin purse containing 10 heat-sealed plastic sachets with shabu, a plastic sachet containing the same drug which he sold to an undercover officer and the marked bill paid to him by the poseur, said Dubria.

The slain suspect’s motorcycle was also impounded by the local police.

According to the PRO12 director, combined operatives of the Polomolok Municipal Police Station and the South Cotabato Police Provincial Office Provincial Mobile Force Company, in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency conducted the buy-bust operation in Purok 8 in Bgy. Sulit targeting the suspected terror ring member-turned drug personality.

“The suspect apparently sensed he was dealing with an undercover policeman and tried to shoot the poseur but missed prompting back-up operatives to return fire,” said Dubria.

The suspect died while being taken to a local hospital.

Dubria said the suspect has been under the radar of the PRO12 for being a member of the ‘Nilong Sub-Group’ of the Dawlah Islamiyah Hassan Group which has gained notoriety for its ISIS-inspired terror activities in Central Mindanao in the past.

He said that prior to the conduct of the operation, the suspect was identified as the one tasked by his group to monitor the activities and location of police patrol vehicles in Polomolok and other parts of South Cotabato.