Ex-mayor son, 4 others killed in North Cotabato checkpoint clash
Five armed men, including the son of a former municipal mayor, died in an encounter with the police and military in Pikit, North Cotabato last Friday.
In a report, Western Mindanao Command said members of the 7th Infantry Battalion and Pikit Municipal Police Station were on their routine operations when a speeding SUV passed through a checkpoint set up along the national highway around 9pm.
Authorities immediately alerted the adjacent checkpoint located at Barangay Inug-ug but they were fired upon by the armed men aboard the vehicle, prompting the officers to return fire.
It resulted to the death of the five armed men.
Two were identified as Hassem Matalam, son of former Pagalungan Mayor Nurodin Matalam, and certain Buton Bacocol from Matina Pangi, Davao City.
Recovered were rifles, firearms, a hand grenade, a rifle grenade, three sachets of suspected shabu, and shabu paraphernalia.
Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, commander of Western Mindanao Command, commended the military and police forces who stood guard and remained vigilant.
“Your steadfastness will bear more accomplishments in our internal security campaign to defeat lawlessness in Mindanao,” he said.
Sobejana said the same efforts will be made to facilitate "rido (clan war)" settlements in their bid to bring security and development in the communities. Ella Dionisio/DMS