Gun for hire nabbed in Cotabato CityBy DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Police and soldiers arrested a Moro rebel-turned-assassin who was wounded after he engaged them in a gunfight in Cotabato City on Thursday, the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said Friday.
CIDG Director Samuel Pagdilao Jr. said the suspect, Zainodin Antao, alias Buding, 33, was the No. 2 most wanted man in Cotabato City and leader of a group of former Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels now engaged in the gun-for-hire business and other lawless activities, such as robbery and land grabbing.
In a statement, Superintendent Leo Quevedo, chief of the CIDG in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, said agents of the CIDG and the Naval Intelligence Security Unit raided a farm lot in Bagua 2 to arrest Antao on the strength of warrants for double murder and attempted murder.
When the raiding party arrived, Antao, who was seen standing near the house, sensed their approach and alerted his companions by firing at the lawmen, Quevedo said.
“A gun battle ensued between the suspects and the raiding team wherein Buding was forced to give up after his other companions abandoned him in the middle of the fire fight and scampered in different directions,” he said.
Antao was wounded in the abdomen and taken to the Cotabato Medical Specialist Hospital for treatment. He was later transferred to the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center where he remains confined.
Recovered from his possession was a .45-caliber pistol loaded with five rounds of ammunition.
The CIDG said it was also running after other members of Antao’s group, namely Abel Antao, Habir Bansil, Jun Balang, Abrudin Antao, and Andit Doe. Three of them were with Antao during the raid but escaped.
Quevedo said the CIDG had tracked down the suspects for their involvement in a land dispute case in 2009 that resulted in the killing of members of Macarido family in Cotabato City, whose properties the suspects had reportedly grabbed.