TWO high-value target (HVT) drug personalities were killed while two others were arrested following a shootout during an anti-drug operation by the military, police, and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operatives in North Cotabato, a top military official disclosed Thursday, May 19, 2022.

Major General Juvymax Uy, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Central commander, said the shootout happened Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at Sitio Calumpangan in Balacayon village, Pigcawayan, North Cotabato.

Uy, who is also the 6th Infantry Division commander, identified the slain suspects as Datu Romah Malang Mastura alias Mamako and Ebrahim Samama.

Arrested were Guiahed Akmad Toting, and Ali Kamsa Guilay, both 24 years old, according to Uy.

He said the shootout ensued as the suspects resisted to the police and PDEA personnel by way of service of warrant of arrest against a group of outlaws led by a certain Ebs, who escaped in 2017 from the Cotabato Police Provincial Office.

“The exchange of fire between the group of Ebs and government forces lasted for about five minutes which resulted in the death of Mastura and Samama,” Uy said.

During the clearing operations, the troops recovered various weapons, including two M-16 Armalite rifles, one M-14 rifle, and two caliber .45 pistols, and assorted war material.

The troops recovered six medium size heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing 30 grams of suspected shabu and other drugs paraphernalia.

Uy disclosed that the suspects were allegedly providing finances and arms and other logistics support to Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Dawlah Islamiya (DI) operating in Central Mindanao. (SunStar Zamboanga)

Source: SunStar (