COTABATO CITY (PNA) – A policeman was killed while two of his colleagues were wounded in a shootout with drug syndicate members following an anti-drug operation in Alamada, North Cotabato shortly before dawn Wednesday, April 21.
The principal target of the operation, identified as suspected illegal drugs gang leader Pilong Salangan, was also wounded in the shootout.
Maj. Sunny Leoncito, Alamada town police chief, identified the slain police officer as Pat. Emmanuel David Vales while the wounded cops were S/Sgt. James Byron Lagarto and Pat. Mario Rapusas, all of the local police force.
Vales died on the spot, Leoncito said.
Vales, together with other policemen and Army personnel, were to serve a search warrant against the group of Salangan in Barangay Guiling around 3 a.m. when were met by gunfire.
“Salangan’s group resisted arrest and opened fire, prompting our lawmen to fire back,” Leoncito said.
He said members of the drug syndicate scampered in different directions, leaving behind Salangan who was arrested after the brief encounter.