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Police Operation in N. Cotabato Results in Deaths of Officer and 5 Gunmen

ALEOSAN, North Cotabato – A police officer and five armed men died during the serving of search warrants against a wanted person that turned violent at about 9 a.m. Wednesday in Barangay New Panay here.

Major Jennefer Amotan, Aleosan town police chief, said six other policemen, including two police officials, were wounded in the same incident.

In her report to Police Regional Office 12, Amotan said police personnel from various police units in Aleosan and in North Cotabato were about to serve a search warrant against Macabuat Salik alias “Iskoh,” of Barangay New Panay, when the gunmen opened fire, triggering a brief encounter.

The police, backed by the Special Action Force (SAF), were armed with two search warrants for violating Republic Act 10591 (Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition) and RA 9165 issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 28 in Midsayap, Cotabato, against Salik.

“During the assault, occupants of the house sensed the presence of the operatives; they then fired upon the troops, prompting them to engage. The firefight lasted about 30 minutes,” Amotan said in her report.

Police said Salik and four of his armed followers were critically injured. They were rushed to the Aleosan District Hospital but declared dead on arrival.

Six police officers were also rushed to the same hospital for medication.

A member of the police SAF, identified as Corporal Jed Michael Gregorio, 33, was also killed.

Those wounded were Captains Marc Bryant Tamid-ay and Kirk John Kollin, Master Sgt. Alcher Dacula; Corporals Mark Joseph Galanta and Emonrick Sornillo Gadat; and Patrolman John Steven Luyun.

Amotan said police found assorted high-powered firearms, explosives, and a huge sachet of “shabu” drugs at the encounter site. (With a report from John Andrew Tabugoc/PNA)

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