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MILF to file protest over death of members killed in anti-drug operations

/ 08:28 PM May 27, 2018

MATALAM, North Cotabato – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Sunday said the nine men killed in an anti-drug operations in Barangay Kilada here were legitimate members of the MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF).

Butch Malang, head of the MILF Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH), said the nine fatalities were disarmed before they were shot at close range by policemen and soldiers on Friday and Saturday.

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Von Al-Haq, BIAF spokesperson, said the MILF will file a “strong protest” with the government’s Coordinating Committee on Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH).

On Saturday, authorities said they have killed nine suspected drug pushers during an overnight joint police and military operations that started Friday while three others were arrested. Suspected shabu and firearms were also reportedly seized.

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Chief Inspector Sunny Leoncito, Matalam town police chief, said the raiding team was armed with a search warrant issued by Judge Alandrex Betoya of the Regional Trial Court Branch 16.

He said they were to serve the warrants against Dadting Kasan and Intan Aban on Friday night in Sitio Biao in Barangay Kilada, but they were fired upon. The hour-long firefight resulted in the wounding and subsequent death of seven suspects.

Leoncito said on Saturday morning that the operatives returned to the area and killed two more suspects.

But Malang, in his letter to Mohagher Iqbal, chair of the MILF peace agreement implementing panel, said the victims who all belong to the MILF’s 105th base command, voluntarily surrendered to the authorities and their firearms were confiscated.

“After the BIAF troops were disarmed, they were deliberately shot by the operatives, which resulted (in) their instant death,” Malang said.

Malang identified the fatalities as Dadting M. Hassan, Muhamidin A. Hassan, Konne A. Hassan, Burrah S. Salping, Muhalidin S. Salping, Tiyo Mantik, Orom Mantis, Deng Malunok, and a certain Abu.

Al-Haq vehemently denied police reports that the gunmen (BIAF troops) engaged the raiding team in a heavy firefight. Moreover, he said no shabu (crystal meth) was recovered during the raid.

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However, the police confiscated the firearms of the slain men, which included two Barrett rifles, two M14 rifles, a Garand rifle, a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) launcher, two .45 caliber pistols and two single-shot handguns. /ee

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TAGS: Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), Butch Malang, Coordinating Committee on Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH), drug raid, North Cotabato, The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Von Al Haq
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