CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Army and police troops killed 5 armed men in a shootout at a military checkpoint in Barangay Inug-ug, Pikit, North Cotabato yesterday evening.
At around 10:00 p.m., 5 men aboard a grey Nissan Patrol car were told to stop at a checkpoint.
The suspects, armed with high-powered firearms, however, refused to pull over and sped away from the first checkpoint. Troops at the next checkpoint were immediately alerted and upon seeing the approaching vehicle signaled for it to stop to be inspected. The suspects instead of stopping at the checkpoint accelerated towards it and fired upon the government troops manning it.
The troops from 7th Infantry Battalion and Pikit Municipal Police who were manning the checkpoint managed to return fire and killed the armed men during the 10-minute exchange of fire.
One fatality was identified as Datu Hashim Matalam, a son of a former governor of Maguindanao and the other was a certain Buton Bacocol, a resident of Matina Pangi in Davao City. Three others are still to be identified by the investigating team.
The troops were able to recover one M16 rifle, 2 M653 rifles, 1 caliber 45 pistol, 1 hand grenade, and 1 rifle grenade. Also recovered were 3 grams of white crystalline powder substance suspected to be shabu and drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle.
The 6th Infantry Division Commander, Maj. Gen. Diosdado C. Carreon said that the government troops in the area of 6th ID will continue to enforce the security measures to prevent the armed lawless groups from doing criminalities and other illegal activities in the 6ID AOR.