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  • Writer's pictureMenchie Kinao

Benguet cop killed, 14 hurt in Sulu encounter

Sulu, Philippines – A 30-year-old police Special Action Force (SAF) commando from Kapangan, Benguet was killed while 14 others were injured in a firefight against the armed men in Bualo Lipid village of Maimbung, Sulu on Saturday morning, June 24, 2023.

The shootout erupted when the police and military officers were about to serve search warrants for violation of Republic Act 10591 or Illegal Possession of Firearms) and RA 9516 or Illegal Possession of Explosives against Pando Mudjasan, a former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader and a former vice mayor of Maimbung, reports stated.

Mudjasan, who is also wanted for frustrated murder, double murder, multiple murder, and illegal possession of explosives, is believed to be employing armed civilians, and with loose firearms and explosives.

The followers of Mudjasan fired at the government troops, triggering a shootout at around 7:30 a.m. which ended past 5 p.m. on the same day, the police said in a press release.

Patrolman Regime Lachica Gacod, a member of the 7th Special Action Battalion, died at the scene of the incident.

Meanwhile, other 14 police and army personnel, including two civilians, sustained gunshot wounds on various parts of their bodies. They are PCPT Ergie T. Wanawan, PCpl Nelvin T. Roble, PCpl Butz Lenard M. Bakidan, PCpl Jayson M. Cabalquinto, PCPL Jerwin D. Tongala, PCPL John Lord V. Paasa, PCpl Simon H. Ligmayo, PCpl Vileo Raven V. Jariolne, PSSg Julakbar A. Jahani, PSSg Jadier R. Alfad, PCPL Alnadzmi Sahirani, Pat Jasper Massagan, Pat Jason D. Dacio, and a personnel from 41st Infantry Battalion, 11ID of the Philippine Army.

A cadaver of the armed group was recovered with items including one M14 Rifle, four magazines, assorted ammunition, and other personal materials.

“I commend the valor and dedication displayed by our law enforcement personnel who participated in the operations. Despite the inherent risks involved, they fearlessly carried out their duty to serve and protect our communities. Their commitment to upholding the rule of law and maintaining peace and order is truly admirable,” PNP Chief, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. stated.


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