Maimbung evacuees return home even as Sulu gunfight suspect remains at large
MANILA, Philippines — Evacuees in Maimbung town have already returned to their homes even as the former vice mayor of the town — whose men figured in a deadly firefight with government troops in the area — remains at large.
Philippine National Police spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo confirmed this in a chance interview on Tuesday.
It can be recalled that armed men of former Maimbung, Sulu vice mayor Pando Mudjasan and joint police and troops figured in a deadly gunfight on June 24, which foiled his arrest for murder and other criminal charges.
The clash led to the evacuation of some 6,000 residents in the area.
“Pinabalik na nga po yung mga naapektuhang mga kababayan po natin,” Fajardo said.
(Our affected fellow countrymen have already been allowed to return to their residences.)
Fajardo, however, said that the police did several precautionary measures before allowing residents to return to the area.
“Although, bago po sila pinayagang bumalik ay nagsagawa muna po ng clearing operation yung EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) team natin para siguraduhin na wala pong mga naiwan na mga explosives ordnance sa incendiary devices po doon sa area,” she said.
(Although, before they were allowed to return, our EOD team conducted a clearing operation to ensure that no explosives and incendiary devices were left in the area.)
The PNP official added that of the 14 reported injuries, two are local residents, who are now in good condition.
Aside from that, one policeman and five of Mudjasan’s men were killed in action, according to Fajardo.