Several of the firearms recovered by responding police and military troopers from the suspects in the Saturday (Dec. 1, 2018) ambush in Matalam, North Cotabato. (Photo by PRO-12)
COTABATO CITY – Two farmers were killed, three were injured while two others were missing after an ambush in a farming village of Matalam, North Cotabato Saturday morning, police said.
Chief Supt. Eliseo Tam Rasco, police director for Region 12 (Soccsksargen), said the ambush happened at around 10:30 a.m. in Purok Ragsak, Barangay Kibudoc, Matalam, Cotabato.
Rasco said the fatalities were identified as Tata Angeles, 25, George Dilanggalen, 50, both farmers and residents of Barangay Kibudoc.
Injured were During Panga, 40, Jomer Intol Sultan, 17, and Samsudin Delanggalen, 18.
Police identified the missing as Datu Ali Sultan, 23 and Suharto Delanggalen, all residents of Purok Sultan Maslani-Campo, also of Barangay Kibudoc.
Rasco said all the victims belonged to the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) under the Nur Misuari faction.
Responding police officers, led by Chief Inspector Placer, recovered 14 rifles and eight grenade launchers from the suspects identified as Joel Viajante, 41; Romar Prado, 29; Redmar Samson, 32; Reynaldo Mosquera, 41; Efren Mosquera, 51; Warlito Mosquera, 37; Danilo Mercado, 25; Lando Helera, 43; Jonathan Viajante, 42; Alvin Villarin, 30; Dennis Olvido, 34; Johnny Patria, 27; and four minors, all residents of Barangay Estado, Matalam, North Cotabato.
The seized firearms included five Carbine rifles, two Garand rifles, seven M16 rifles, two M79 grenade launchers, and assorted ammunition.
Investigation showed the victims were heading to their farms on three separate motorbikes when ambushed.
The Matalam police responded along with the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion troopers, led by its commander, Lt. Colonel Neil Roldan, and caught the 16 suspects red-handed with firearms and ammunition.
Initial report showed the violence was triggered by land dispute involving the suspects and the victims.
The suspects are now detained at the Matalam police jail. (PNA)