Police engaged a group of armed robbers that stated a daring midday heist in M’lang town of Cotabato on Thursday, Nov. 24, resulting in the death of six people, including a police sergeant and a civilian who was caught in one of the gun battles.
Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr., chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the ensuing pursuit operations led to the death of four suspected robbers.
He said the policemen chanced upon the robbers in Barangay Sangat, triggering a gun battle that led to the death of 51-year old Police Staff Sgt. Rudy Verona Amihan, Jr., a member of the M’lang Municipal Police Station.
The same firefight also killed 53-year old Jack Gumilao, a customer of a bakery and restaurant which was targeted by the armed robbers.
“Sergeant Amihan died with his boots on, in the finest police tradition of valor, service and sacrifice to serve and protect the people,” said Azurin,.
Azurin said two of the robbers died when they clashed with the group of Col. Harold Ramos, the provincial director of Cotabato Police Provincial Office.
The two other robbers died when they clashed with another police team led by the chief of police of M’lang town in Sitio Quito, Barangay Dugong.
“The remaining eight unidentified suspects immediately fled heading the marsh land of Brgy. Dungo-an, Mlang, Cotabato and are now subject for hot pursuit operation,” said Azurin.
He said two other cops, identified as Police Corporal Noli Labesores and Patrolman Herzon Neyra, were wounded. Civilians Tweeny Daza and Jose Patlubay, on the other hand, suffered gunshot wounds.
“All four wounded were brought to Kidapawan Medical Specialist Hospital for medical treatment,” said Police Col. Redrico Maranan, chief of the PNP Public Information Office.
Maranan said crime scene investigators recovered four handguns used by the four dead suspects.
Auzrin, for his part, assured the immediate release of all the benefits for the slain police sergeant.