Police killed two armed men who were reportedly inivolved in the smuggling of illegal drugs from Sabah to Mindanao in a raid in Tawi-Tawi on Sunday.
Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the operation was based on the intelligence report about the hiding place of the suspects identified as Basil Lipae and Girang Lipae.
Girang was considered as the Top 5 most wanted person in Bangsamoro Administrative Region (BAR) while Basil is the number two most wanted of Languyan, Tawi-Tawi.
“They are both facing a case of multiple murder,” said Eleazar.
“Further investigation reveals that the subject personalities were notorious personalities in the province and involved in facilitating the entry of illegal drugs from Sabah, Malaysia to Tawi-Tawi. There were reports that subject persons also threatened and forcibly grabbed the houses to harvest the seaweeds and other marine goods of their neighbors,” Eleazar said.
During the operation in Barangay Sipangkot in Sitangkai town, the official said suspects engaged the policemen in a gun battle which led to their death. The firefight lasted for five minutes.
Police seized an M1 Garand, a .38 revolver, a 7.62 rifle and various bullets.