A rookie policeman died while two other cops were wounded in a brief gun battle with a suspected drug pusher in Cotabato on Wednesday.
Brig. Gen. Michael John Dubria, director of the Police Regional Office 12, said the clash also resulted in the death of the suspected drug pusher identified as Pilong Silangan.
Dubria said the operation stemmed from the reports that Silangan was spotted in Sitio Maracabak, Barangay Guiling in Alamada town. The suspect was the subject of an arrest warrant for a drug case.
Policemen then proceeded to the area at around 1 p.m. on Wednesday but the suspect was armed with an M16 rifle and started shooting the arresting team. He was killed later.
The rookie policeman was identified as Patrolman David Valez, of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 12. He died due to multiple bulletwounds.
Two other cops, Patrolman Mario Rapusa and Police Staff Sergeant James Byron Lagarto, were also wounded and are now recuperating in the hospital.