Ex-Maguindanao mayor in 'narcolist' killed after grabbing gun of CIDG cop en route Crame

Published June 17, 2021, 2:52 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

Police killed on Thursday morning, June 17, a former mayor of Talitay, Maguindanao after he allegedly grabbed the service firearm of one of his police escorts while he was being transported to Camp Crame in Quezon City following his arrest at the Port of Batangas on Wednesday night.

Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said Montasser Sabal, alias Sabal, was declared dead at the San Juan Medical Center in San Juan City.

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Based on the report of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Sabal grabbed the gun of a CIDG operative inside a police vehicle. The incident occurred at around 5:30 a.m. in San Juan City.

The suspect grabbed his police escort’s firearm while on board the vehicle which resulted in a scuffle wherein he was able to shoot the police officer beside him. Posing danger, the accompanying police officers prompted to use reasonable force that resulted in wounding the arrested person through the use of his firearm,” the CIDG report read.

Eleazar said Sabal was arrested at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Batangas Port in Batangas City after CIDG operatives learned of his arrival from Mindanao. The cases to which he was arrested involved violations of Republic Act 9516 and RA 9165. There was no bail recommended for the case on violation of RA 9516.

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The operation was carried out after CIDG operatives learned that he was on his way to Luzon from Mindanao. The arrest was announced at the Reyna De Luna 4 vessel at the Port of Batangas in Batangas City.

Seized inside his vehicle, a white Toyota Innova were an M16 rifle, a 9mm pistol, a hand grenade, almost P50,000 cash, two license plates, cellular phones, two knives, assorted documents, two plastic sachets allegedly containing shabu and assorted identification cards.

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Also arrested were Norayda Nandang, 43, house helper; Muhaliden Mukaram, 36, driver; and, Aika de Asis, 34, house helper.

Eleazar said the pursuit operation conducted on another vehicle, which was at the parking lot of the Batangas City port and is believed to be owned by Sabal, also resulted in the arrest of Ailyn Compania, 45, house helper; Zuharto Monico, 28, driver; and, Wilson Santos, 41, driver.

Confiscated in the vehicle, a white Nissan Navarra were a 50 caliber, a handgun, a Granad rifle, cellular phones, a 9mm pistol, a rifle grenade, two plastic sachets containing shabu with a street value of P2.5 million, and P582,000 cash.

Who is Sabal?

Eleazar said Sabal was a former policeman assigned to the Special Action Force from 1998-2008 and served as the Municipal Mayor of Talitay from 2010 to 2013, and vice mayor of the same town from 2013 to 2016

“Accordingly, Sabal was former member of PNP SAF from 1998 to 2008 and with specialized trainings on Intelligence, Urban Counter Revolutionary Warfare Course, Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Sniper’s Course,” said Eleazar.

He said Sabal was also listed under the National Watchlist on Illegal Drugs (NWID).

CIDG Director Maj. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro said Sabal was charged by the Office of the Ombudsman and eventually suspended for failure to disclose his properties and business interests in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth from 2011 to 2015.

Further, information revealed that he failed to initiate and propose legislative measures to the Sangguniang Bayan for the Municipality’s anti-illegal drugs program as mandated under RA 9165.

“Intelligence reports showed that he was one among those involved in the Davao City bombing that happened last sept 2016 which is an act of terrorism and further disclosed that he is a full time supporter and serves as one among the supplier of armaments and explosives to BIFF,” said Ferro.

Probe

Eleazar lauded the CIDG, other operating units and law enforcement agencies involved for this accomplishment, saying the neutralization of Sabal is a big blow to the chain of supply of firearms and explosive materials to the BIFF which is responsible in various attacks and bombings in Maguindanao and nearby areas.

But Eleazar said investigation will be conducted since Sabal died while under police custody, explaining that it is part of the protocol of the Internal Affairs Service to investigate death of suspects under police hands.

 
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