Gov’t agents kill suspected Maguindanao crime gang head in gunfight
COTABATO CITY—A former village chief of Datu Salibo town, Maguindanao province, who allegedly turned into a crime gang leader, was killed and four of his followers were arrested in a police operation on Wednesday (April 14).
Maj. Esmail Madin, head of the Maguindanao unit of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), identified the slain suspect as Marcos Manunggal, former chair of Tee village in Datu Salibo town.
Manunggal allegedly heads an armed crime group with at least 20 followers operating in the towns of Datu Salibo, Shariff Aguak and Mamasapano towns.
Madin identified the arrested suspects as Arbaiya Bangkong Mustapha and Nadia Kero, both women, Mike Guipal Badrudin and Ali Ebrahim.
Operatives of the CIDG, Maguindanao police, the Army’s 6th Infantry Battalion and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency were to serve search warrants on Manunggal and two other suspects—Datumanot Manunggal and Jaybee Mastura—past 3 a.m. when they were met by gunfire from Manunggal and his men.
According to Madin, Datumanot Manunggal and Jaybee Mastura managed to escape.
Madin said Manunggal’s group was involved in gunrunning, assassinations, bombings and illegal drugs and has links with Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the terrorist group Ansar al-Khilafa Philippines.
Mastura is allegedly one of the BIFF’s bomb makers.
Seized from Manunggal’s home were an M-16 rifle, a Browning automatic rifle, a shotgun, a .45 caliber pistol, gun parts and ammunition.
The arrested suspects are now detained at the CIDG office in Cotabato City.
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