By Ali Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – A police lieutenant and a civilian tipster were killed in an operation against drug dealers in Sulu on Sunday, it was learned Tuesday.
Both Lt. Sali Aspi Salim of the Sulu provincial police office and the vigilant villager, who helped law enforcers plot the mission, died from multiple bullet wounds, the regional police office of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) reported.
Brig. Gen. Marni Marcos, director of the Parang, Maguindanao-based Police Regional Office-BARMM, said the team of Salim was attacked from different directions as they were about to arrest their target shabu dealers in a buy-bust operation in a barangay in Indanan, Sulu.
He said a subordinate of Salim, Patrolman Alkadar Manjangan, was wounded in the incident and is now recuperating in hospital
Marcos did not name the slain civilian informant for the safety of his family.
An initial police investigation report showed that nine men armed with M14 and M16 rifles, believed accomplices of the drug traffickers, were involved in the attack.
The national flag has since Monday been at half-mast at Camp SK Pendatun headquarters in Parang, Maguindanao in honor of the slain officer.
“The Sulu provincial police will honor the departed officer by flying the flag at half-mast for one week starting today,” Gen. Marcos was quoted as saying on Monday.