COTABATO CITY—Police and military elements have been deployed to track down suspects in an ambush here over the weekend that left a military intelligence agent dead and another wounded Saturday afternoon.
Senior Supt. Rex Anongos, city police director, named the slain soldier as Private First Class Denver Maguate, 25, of Pagadian City, and the wounded as PFC Aldrin Junsay Asejo, 27, of Libungan, North Cotabato.
The victims, both elements of the intelligence unit of the 11th Company of the Army’s 1st Mechanized Battalion, were riding a motorbike en route to their official base in Maguindanao when gunmen fired at them in front of the MC Square department store along Sinsuat Avenue here.
The gunmen were aboard Sept. motorcycles.
Anongos said the victims’ companion, PFC Jovert Bad-e who was riding a separate motorbike, was tailing them but did not see the attack since there was a passenger jeep between him and his comrades.
He said Maguate and Asejo, both wearing civilian clothes, were armed but failed to return fire as they crashed right after the attack. Responding police investigators recovered empty shells of cal. 45 pistol at the crime scene, he said.
The Army’s 6th Infantry Division, which has jurisdictions over all military units in Maguindanao and parts of Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato, condemned the attack.
Military intelligence operatives suspected Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters members for the attack. The BIFF has reportedly resorted to “hit and run” attacks after its organizational camps in Maguindanao had been overrun by the military in a series of offensives last February and March.
Anongos said his command was closely working with the 11th Mechanized Battalion in tracking down the suspects.