5 bandits, SAF member killed in encounter in Cotabato province

John Unson - Philstar.com
5 bandits, SAF member killed in encounter in Cotabato province
Five bandits and a member of the police's Special Action Force were killed in Tuesday's clash in Barangay New Panay in Aleosan, Cotabato.
Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Policemen killed five bandits whose hideout they were to search for firearms and narcotics in an operation on Tuesday in Aleosan town in Cotabato that turned deadly when they resisted and provoked a gunfight.

A member of the police's elite Special Action Force, Corporal Jed Michael Gregorio, also died from multiple bullet wounds he sustained in the brief skirmish.

Brig. Gen. Percival Augustus Placer, director of the Police Regional Office-12, told reporters on Wednesday that three other SAF personnel from a unit under PRO-12’s operational control were wounded in the encounter in Purok 7 in Barangay New Panay in Aleosan town in the first district of Cotabato.

Combined personnel of the Cotabato Provincial Police Office, the Aleosan Municipal Police Station and SAF members were approaching the house of Macabuat Dimnog Salik that they were to search for firearms, shabu and marijuana, but he and his men opened fire, sparking an encounter.

Salik and four of his followers were killed in the exchange of gunfire.

The policemen involved in the operation that turned awry were armed with a search warrant from a court in one of the towns in Cotabato province.

Officials of police and Army units in Cotabato province said Salik was long under surveillance for his involvement in cattle theft, armed robbery, trafficking of shabu and for providing sanctuary to dealers of narcotics in exchange for money.

Placer said confidential informants and local officials helped their operatives locate the hideout of Salik during Tuesday’s operation that went awry.

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