3 slain, 3 hurt in 3 shooting incidents in N. Cotabato

Peace and Order • Tue Sep 26, 2017 04:23 PM  •  157   0
By Malu Manar
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KIDAPAWAN CITY  – Three suspected drug couriers were killed and three others were wounded in three separate shooting incidents in North Cotabato, one of which was considered part of what the police dubbed as, ‘Operation Double Barrel’, an anti-illegal drug operation, since Monday, reports said. 

In Pikit town, a 16-year old out-of-school youth (OSY) was killed and three of his companions were seriously hurt when unidentified gunmen sprayed bullets while they were busy preparing for dinner inside a small hut in Barangay Mahad, around 6 p.m., Monday. 

Authorities identified the slain victim as Abdul Yasser Esmael, 16, and the wounded as Farida Abdullah, 32; Wawan Lamada; and a four-year old boy. 

Chief Inspector Romy Castanares, chief of Pikit municipal police station, said the victims were busy preparing for their dinner when two motorcycles arrived at their area and immediately fired bullets upon them.  

He added the suspects used M16 assault rifles during the attack.
 Accordingly, the motorcycles, both Kawasaki CT 100 colored red, have no license plates.   

The house is owned by a certain Akmad Bantuan Palaman, who, according to Castanares, was the real targets of the gunmen. Palaman was not in his house when the attack happened. 

After the shooting incident, Esmael was found dead on the floor while three of his relatives suffered gunshot wounds in different parts of their bodies and were rushed to nearest hospital for treatment. 

Castanares said they have yet to determine if the attack has something to do with clan feud or illegal drugs. 

In Matalam town, a businessman whom the police suspected of engaging in drug trade was killed when he tried to prevent the raiding team from conducting search in his house, around 330 a.m., Tuesday, reports from Matalam PNP said. 

Killed was Clay Solas Magallanes, 41, a trader from Rotunda, Poblacion in Matalam. 

Chief Inspector Mautin Pangandigan, Matalam PNP chief, said the raiding team - composed of operatives from the Cotabato Police Provincial Office, Regional Public Safety Battalion, and the Matalam PNP, went to Magallanes’ house to conduct search for possible illegal drugs and explosives. 

The raid, according to Pangandigan, was part of the PNP’s Oplan Double Barrel, an anti-illegal drug operation. 

The two search warrants issued by Judge Alandrex Betoya of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 16 in Kabacan, North Cotabato focused on Republic Act 9165 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and RA 9516 or the Law on Explosives. 

Pangandigan said the suspect tried to lob a hand grenade towards the raiding team to elude arrest but operatives were quick to neutralize him. Magallanes was killed on the spot due to multiple gunshot wounds. 

Pangandigan said Magallanes has been arrested once early this year when his wife filed complaints against him for physical violence.  

It was his wife that told PNP of his possession of firearms and explosives.

The raiding team recovered from the suspect a fragmentation grenade, some sachets of shabu, an illegal drug, and other drug paraphernalia, police said. 

Also in Matalam, a suspected drug courier and a fruit vendor identified as Arnold Agustin, 35, was gunned down by still unidentified suspect, around 1030 a.m., Monday. 

Police said Agustin was driving his Honda wave motorcycle when waylaid by the gunman along Purok Tagumpay 2 in Barangay Marbel, Matalam. 

Agustin sustained multiple gunshot wounds in different parts of his body which led to his instant death. 

Authorities hinted the killing could be drug-related.
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