KIDAPAWAN CITY: Eight suspected drug peddlers, including an 18-year-old, were killed in Matalam town, North Cotabato early Saturday morning.
Police identified the slain suspects as Abudzaid Runas, 18; Tainko Lamping; Bolao Palti; Haron Lamping Mamakan; Mustapha Tausi; Mangapan Mama Musa; Jobaina Lumantag; and Tahir Kasan Salipudin.
Except for Salipudin, all suspects were residents of Purok Islam, also known as “Little Quiapo” in Barangay Poblacion, Matalam, where the police conducted its anti-illegal drugs operation.
Another suspect, identified as Aratok Iba Balabagan, was arrested and is now under investigation.
Authorities said that the place they raided was a known drug den and sanctuary for notorious drug peddlers, also involved in robbery hold-up and carnapping activities in the region.
Elements of Region 12 Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Force, led by Supt. Maximo Sebastian, with the Special Action Force, Regional Public Safety Battalion, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the North Cotabato provincial police, swooped down in the area at around 2:30 a.m.
|The operatives said they were met by a volley of gunfire upon entering the area that resulted to a 10-minute gunfight.
“Our surveillance indicated that the place is known to have armed lawless individuals. When we arrived to serve the warrants of arrest they opened fire, so we fought back hard,” Sebastian told members of the media.
Sebastian said the suspects have been subject of surveilance before the raid was effected.
Recovered from the site were a caliber .45 pistol, a caliber .38 revolver, four hand grenades and five sachets of suspected ‘shabu’ and other drug paraphernalia.