Cop, murder suspect killed in shootout in Basilan town
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur — A police officer and a murder suspect were killed in a shootout that ensued when law enforcers served an arrest warrant in Lamitan City, Basilan on Tuesday afternoon (Dec. 7).
Brigadier General Domingo Gobway, commander of the Army’s Joint Task Force Basilan, said the police operation was meant to arrest Jerry Omar Harayin, also known as Borhan Harayin, on force of a warrant for murder issued by Judge Grace Tillah, acting presiding judge of Regional Trial Court Branch 2 in Isabela City.
Based on a police report, Harayin was inside his residence in Barangay Baas, Lamitan City, when members of the Special Action Force (SAF) arrived to serve the arrest warrant.
Sensing the presence of law enforcers, Harayin opened fire at them, triggering a shootout, Gobway said.
Eventually, the suspect was hit on different parts of his body and died on the spot = , while a SAF member was also injured and later died while undergoing medical treatment, Gobway added.
The police commando was identified as Corporal Nizar A Alijam.
A 15-year-old boy was caught in the crossfire and was wounded, and is now recovering at a hospital in Lamitan City.
In an interview, Lt. Col. John Cundo, commander of the Basilan Police Provincial Mobile Force Company, said Harayin has been involved in several murder cases, including that of his uncle and cousin.
To escape accountability, Harayin sought refuge in a community of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and changed his first name to Borhan, Cundo added.
Seized from Harayin’s possession after Tuesday’s operation was an identification card that indicated he was an active member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), the MILF armed wing that is in the process of being decommissioned.
Cundo said the 15-year-old boy caught in the crossfire was not a bystander but Harayin’s driver.
The Lamitan operation was led by Police Major Samuel Mangetag Jr., commanding officer of the 84th Special Action Company (SAC), Capt. Joe Anthony Dablio, commanding officer of 54th SAC, and Capt. Christopher Amboni of the 53rd SAC.
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