A joint operation by the police and the military resulted in the killing of nine people suspected of drug dealing in a town in Cotabato City.
According to Superintendent Bernard Tayong, spokesperson for the North Cotabato Police Office, police and military operatives were about to serve a search warrant on the “lair” of drug suspects Dating Kasan and Intan Aban in Sitio Biao, Barangay Kilada in Matalam town at about 11:15 pm. on Friday when the suspects fired at them.
The operatives fired back, killing Kasan and Aban were and seven other suspects.
“During the implementation ... subjects of search warrants fought and engaged law enforcers using high-powered firearms,” Tayong said in a statement.
The government operatives recovered from the crime scene assorted heavy firearms, including improvised 50-caliber barret sniper rifle, rocket-propelled grenades, and ammunition. No illegal drugs, however, were found during the raid.
Meanwhile, Major General Cirilito Sobejana of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division vowed to support the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.
“We will sustain our active support in the PNP and PDEA’s war on illegal drugs.”
The police have yet to determine if Kasan and Aban and their followers are members of drug syndicates operating in North Cotabato and in other areas in south and central Mindanao.
The raid on Friday was the second biggest in terms of the number of suspects killed during an operation.
Early last year, it was also in Matalam town where at least 11 suspected drug personalities were killed in a clash during an anti-illegal drug operation.