2 terror suspects dead in Sultan Kudarat shootout

Published November 19, 2018, 3:02 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Martin Sadongdong

Two unidentified men believed to be members of an Islamic State (ISIS)-inspired terror group in Mindanao were shot dead by police after they allegedly engaged lawmen in a shootout to avoid a checkpoint in Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat at dawn Monday.

(photo courtesy of PNP-PRO 12)
(photo courtesy of PNP-PRO 12 / MANILA BULLETIN)

A report reaching the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon Cit,y said the shootout occurred around 2:30 a.m. along Kapingkong Road, Barangay EJC Montilla, Tacurong City.

Superintendent Aldrin Gonzales, spokesperson of Soccsksargen Police Regional Office (PRO-12), said the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Police Office earlier received an intelligence report that an improvised explosive device (IED) would be transported within Tacurong City and Isulan town.

Citing a police report, Gonzales said security forces in the area were immediately alerted and checkpoints were set-up to intercept the supposed bomb delivery.

Eventually, the suspects arrived on board a gray multicab but Gonzales said the two hesitated to submit themselves to a checkpoint in Isulan town. Instead, they made a quick U-turn towards Tacurong City.

A brief chase ensued and Gonzales said gunshots were fired between the two suspects and the pursuing cops.

The lawmen finally cornered the suspects after a 20-minute running gun battle on Kapingkong Road but the latter refused to surrender. Instead, they still fired shots towards the cops but they were eventually killed, the report said.

Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) recovered from the suspects a 9mm. berretta pistol bearing the name of the PNP, a KG9 pistol, an IED, an alleged ISIS flag and various ammunition.

According to investigation, probers will try to determine whether the recovered pistol was indeed issued by the PNP.

The bodies of the slain suspects were brought to a funeral parlor in Tacurong City.

“They were Muslims so if no one claims their bodies, they will be properly buried following the tradition,” Gonzales told the Manila Bulletin.

Earlier, PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde placed the entire police force in Mindanao under full alert status after a series of bombings that rocked southern Philippines. Aside from that, martial law is also being implemented in Mindanao.

It can be recalled that two bomb attacks occurred in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat on August 28 and September 2, which resulted in the killing of five people and injured dozens more.

Meanwhile, on August 31, a suicide bombing in Lamitan, Basilan killed 11 people and wounded eight others.