By Richelyn Gubalani
GENERAL SANTOS CITY: An alleged supporter of an Islamic State-inspired local terrorist group was killed in an operation Friday morning in a village in Polomolok town, South Cotabato province.
Lt. Col. Alex Joe Orcajada, chief of Polomolok municipal police station, said suspect Abdula Lido, 47, was slain in an encounter with joint operatives around 7 a.m. in Purok 1, Barangay Koronadal Proper.
He said the brief firefight ensued while the combined police and military operating team was serving a search warrant against the suspect.
The warrant, issued by Polomolok Regional Trial Court Branch 63 Judge Adelbert Santillan, was for possession of dangerous drugs and paraphernalia.
“Upon the team’s arrival at the target site, (Lido) sensed their presence and immediately opened fire at them,” Orcajada said in a report.
He said the operatives managed to seek cover and retaliate, resulting in the fatal wounding of the suspect.
Lido was rushed to the Polomolok Municipal Hospital but was declared dead upon arrival by the attending doctors.
Police said the suspect yielded a black flag of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a caliber .357 handgun, 12 sachets of suspected shabu, and various drug paraphernalia.
Capt. Randy Apostol, Polomolok deputy police chief, said in an interview that the suspect was included in their drug target list and had long been under surveillance.
Citing intelligence reports, Apostol said the suspect was a supporter of a Dawlah Islamiyah faction operating in the area.
He was referring to the group’s Maguid faction, also known as the Socsargen (South Cotabato-Sarangani-General Santos) Katiba, which had pledged support to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Authorities said the group is engaged in various terrorist and criminal activities, including peddling of illegal drugs, in the area.
Philippine News Agency