2 dead, 3 wounded as basketball game turns bloody in N. Cotabato
COTABATO CITY –A friendly basketball game involving two groups of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels in North Cotabato turned bloody on Thursday when it ended in a shooting spree, the police said Friday.
Chief Inspector Romy Castañares, police chief of Pikit town, said two players were killed and three others were injured when what was supposedly a friendly match turned bloody.
Castañares identified the victims who were slain as Ismael Muhamadali, 34; and Mamaila Udlayan, 32, both of Barangay Gokotan. The injured victim was identified as Ali Jamel.
All of them were members of the MILF group under Commander Karim Dubua alias “Midnight.”
Citing reports from Barangay Gokotan chair Mustapha Aliman, Castañares named the suspects as Macabuat Tambungalan and Manguda Tambungalan, also MILF members under Commander Masibpa.
Police said Macabuat and Tambungalan were also injured.
He said the suspects and the victims were playing basketball in the village involving “pot money” as bet when the game eventually went “physical.”
One of the players then grabbed his Armalite assault rifle and opened fire. Relatives of the slain MILF members retaliated, triggering a gun battle.
“There was a misunderstanding that turned into a heated argument until they took their guns and started shooting at one another,” a witness quoted Aliman as telling police investigators.
Castañares said MILF elders later intervened and pacified those involved in the infighting. JPV
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