By Ali Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has prepared financial aid for the families of five anti-narcotics agents, who were killed in an ambush in Lanao del Sur.
ARMM’s Bureau of Public Information said Regional Governor Mujiv S. Hataman has directed the Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team (HEART) to provide “all the necessary assistance” to the bereaved families of the five slain agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
The remains of the victims – Kenneth Tabulo, Kristine Mae Torlao, Lores Joy Amar, Binzo Dipolla, and Diobel Pacinio – have been brought to the mortuary facility of the Army’s Sixth Infantry Division headquarters, Camp Siongco, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday visited the facility, accorded the fatalities with posthumous citations, and handed cash assistance to the bereaved families. He was accompanied by PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino.
The President ordered the speedy dispensation of justice for the victims and their families.
Aquino has announced that initial investigation has, so far, resulted in the drafting of a partial list of suspects. The list, he said, included the names of 10 persons of interest, which include two to three local officials allegedly in collusion with police officers.
The PDEA agents were in a van on their way to their office here via Marawi City after coming from a program for drug surrenderers in Tagoloan, Lanao Del Sur last October 5, when they were ambushed in Barangay Malna in Kapai, Lanao del Sur.