KIDAPAWAN City–Two suspected drug couriers were killed in a reported shootout with police operatives in Pikit, North Cotabato, around 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Chief Inspector Romy Castanares, chief of the Pikit municipal police station, identified the slain drug suspects as Edzrapel Dima and Bashir Maniling, both residents of Pagalungan, Maguindanao.
Castanares said some residents of Barangay Batulawan informed them about the presence of Dima and Maniling in their place.
He said the suspects were included in the police’s drug watch list.
Informants told police the suspects were on board a passenger tricycle with body number 5-909 and were on their way to Aleosan.
Castanares said he then dispatched a team to run after the suspects.
He said that on their way to Barangay Batulawan the policemen engaged the suspects in a running gun battle.
He said Dima and Maniling ignored calls for them to surrender. They lay dead on the highway minutes after the shootout.
They were rushed to the Cruzado Medical Clinic in the poblacion but were declared dead on arrival, he added.
Police recovered from the suspects a mini Uzi caliber 9mm machine pistol and several drug paraphernalia.
Castanares said the operating teams included his men, operatives of the Regional Public Safety Battalion in Region 12, and 2nd Mechanized Company.
In Tulunan town, police arrested a 27-year old farmer in a buy-bust raid, Tuesday night.
Police identified the suspect as Jonel Ambid, resident of Barangay Maybula, Tulunan.
Based on police records, Ambid has submitted himself to Tulunan police and admitted having engaged in drug trafficking but promised to reform.
But police said he returned to selling drugs despite having undergone ‘Tokhang’ twice after his supposed surrender in 2016.
Allegedly recovered from Ambid during the buy-bust raid were sachets of shabu and other drug paraphernalia.
Charges of violation of Republic Act 9165 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 were being prepared against Ambid, investigators said. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)