Six people, among them a policeman and a civilian, died in a shootout between law enforcers and suspected holdupmen in M’lang, Cotabato on Wednesday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Friday.
PNP chief Police General Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said the police were still conducting hot pursuit operations against eight suspects who escaped during the gunbattle.
“Ongoing ang hot pursuit operation natin. Patuloy ang paghahabol ng ating kapulisan sa walong pang suspects na nagholdap sa bakery at (eatery),” Azurin told reporters.
Killed were four suspects, Sgt. Rudy Amihan, 51, and a certain Jack Gumilao, a civilian.
Azurin Jr. vowed to expedite the release of all benefits due Amihan.
The four other fatalities who were suspected members of the holdup group, remained unidentified.
Police said two other police officers and two civilians were wounded.
Police said 12 armed men barged into the bakery in Barangay Bagontapay on Wednesday afternoon and took some P17,000 in cash of the store’s earnings.
The suspects shot two customers, Gumilao and Jose Patlubay.
The robbers fled and split into groups when they saw a checkpoint operation in Barangay Gaunan, according to the police.
M’lang police encountered some suspects at Sitio Quitos, Barangay Dugong, resulting in an exchange of gunfire where two of the suspects were killed.
Another police team encountered two other suspects in Purok 9, Barangay Sangat where Amihan was fatally shot in the chest.
The two suspects were killed while trying to flee from the area.
Recovered from the suspects who died in Barangay Dugong were a caliber .45 pistol with a magazine, a caliber. 45 colt M1911a1 with a magazine, and cash amounting to P1,200, according to the police.
Also recovered from the deceased suspects in Barangay Sangat were a Para (Pistol) 1941 with a steel magazine; a colt.45 with a steel magazine, two pieces steel magazine for .45 caliber, and cash amounting to Php1,620, the police added.