COTABATO CITY -- Authorities shot dead a longtime jail escapee and arrested his accomplice, following a shootout in Midsayap, North Cotabato on Thursday.
In a report Friday, Brig. Gen. Eliseo Tam Rasco, director of Police Regional Office 12 (Soccsksargen), identified the slain fugitive as Thorag Sandalan Sabal alias Erick Pasanggalan, and his arrested companion as Nasser Makabangen Usman.
A joint police-military team was serving a warrant of arrest against Sabal at his safehouse in Barangay Olandang, Midsayap at 10 a.m. when the latter resisted arrest and fired at the lawmen that led to the shootout, police said.
Sabal, together with six other inmates, broke out of the Maguindanao Provincial Jail in this city on May 24, 2018. He was facing charges for murder, illegal drugs possession and illegal possession of firearms prior to the incident, police said.
“During the law enforcement operation on Thursday, Sabal was armed with a pistol and fired at the operating elements of the Midsayap police and Army’s 34th Infantry Battalion, prompting the troopers to retaliate that led to the suspect’s death,” Rasco said.
The raiding team also nabbed Usman, who was with Sabal at the time of the incident. Found at Sabal’s hideout following the shootout was a .45 caliber pistol, two pieces of heat-sealed sachets containing suspected shabu, an improvised tooter, three pieces of disposable lighters, and one piece of a fired .45 caliber cartridge.
Also recovered from Usman was a Super .38 caliber pistol, two spent .38 caliber pistol cartridges, three pieces of unserviceable magazines for a .45-caliber pistol, an improvised tooter, and a disposable lighter.
Charges for violation of Republic Act (RA) 10591 (Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition) and RA 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) are being readied against Usman, who is currently locked up at the Midsayap police detention cell. (PNA)