COTABATO CITY: Police authorities in Gen. S. K. Pendatun in Maguindanao neutralized one of the most wanted persons in the province during a law enforcement operation on Saturday.
Col. Arnold Santiago, Maguindanao police director, identified the slain suspect as Ton Mohammad, 40, who has a standing warrant of arrest issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 15 in Cotabato City for murder and robbery charges.
Santiago, citing intelligence information, said Mohammad was earlier detained at the Amas provincial jail in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato for separate charges.
“Mohammad was one of the 158 inmates from Amas jail who escaped when about 100 gunmen stormed the jail facility and rescued a big-time drug lord in January 2017,” Santiago said.
He said the operation against Mohammad was successfully conducted with the help of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members stationed in Gen. S. K. Pendatun.
Police intelligence operatives earlier received information that Mohammad, along with his cohorts, were seen roaming around the village of Midpandacan in the municipality.
Backed by soldiers, Maguindanao police personnel proceeded to the village but were fired upon by Mohammad and his group, triggering a brief firefight.
Mohammad tried to escape but was hit in the exchange of gunfire.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
Santiago said the investigation also revealed that Mohammad was a member of a kidnap-for-ransom gang who is also peddling illegal drugs.
His companions managed to escape but two were subsequently arrested.
They were Victor Sabar and Nano Mohammad who were armed with a pistol and a homemade 12-gauge shotgun.
The two, now detained at Gen. S. K. Pendatun municipal police detention facility are facing charges for violation of Republic Act 10591 or illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
Relatives of the slain wanted person took his remains for Islamic burial rites.
(PNA/Edwin Fernandez/ SRNY/ RSP)