Former Maguindanao governor’s son, 4 others killed in alleged shootout

Published July 6, 2019, 12:42 PM

by Dr. Eduardo Gonzales

By Ali Macabalang

KIDAPAWAN CITY – Five men, among them the son of a former governor of Maguindanao, were killed in an alleged shootout with soldiers manning a road checkpoint in Pikit, North Cotabato Friday night.

Bullets-riddled Nissan Patrol Car ( Facebook: Pikit residents / MANILA BULLETIN)
( Facebook: Pikit residents / MANILA BULLETIN)

Reported killed was Datu Hashim Matalam III, son of the late former Maguindanao governor Norodin Matalam. The identity of his slain companions were still being verified by authorities as of press time.

All five fatalities were aboard a sports utility vehicle and were travelling towards Pagalungan town in Maguindanao when they were flagged down by soldiers of the Army’s Seventh Infantry Battalion at a checkpoint in Barangay Inug-ug in Pikit town at around 8:40 p.m.

But instead of stopping, the car sped away as one or two of the passengers allegedly opened fire at the soldiers manning the checkpoint.

This reportedly forced the soldiers to fire back, killing all the victims on-the-spot, said a military report corroborated by Pikit police chief Capt. Mautin Pangandigan.

Pikit municipal administrator Dr. Maugan Mosaid broke the news on the incident past 9 p.m. Friday via Facebook, saying a firefight happened in Barangay Inug-ug, a village noted for bloody armed clashes that has already left dozens of protagonists in recent months.

Pangandigan said responding Scene of Crime Operatives (SOCO) recovered three assorted pistols and ammunition, a fragmentation grenade, a riffle grenade, three pieces of sealed plastic sachet containing suspected shabu or crystal meth, and P15,900 cash.

In a separate report, Brig. Gen. Alfredo Rosario of the 602nd Brigade said soldiers manning the checkpoint faced “extreme provocation” that forced them to fire back correspondingly.

Initial field military and police reports indicated that Matalam, who was said to be driving the SUV, tried to elude the checkpoint.

Authorities said soldiers from the 7th IB have been on high alert Thursday following a spate of clashes between two rival partisan Moro groups in Barangay Inug-ug, a village bordering Pikit town and the Liguasan Marsh.