Thursday Oct, 01 2020 09:43:05 PM

Soldier slain, pal hurt in North Cotabato ambush

Peace and Order • 07:00 AM Thu Jan 23, 2020
Edwin O. Fernandez

MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato  – Military and police authorities here and in Maguindanao have been hunting two men who ambushed and killed a soldier and wounded another on Wednesday (Jan. 22).

Police Lt. Colonel John Miridel Calinga, Midsayap town police chief, identified the victims as Corporal Earl Tabaranza, 31, and Private First Class Meljay Bernal, 30, both members of the Army’s 34th Infantry Battalion.

Bernal died while getting medication in a hospital two hours after they were ambushed at 11 a.m. along the national highway in Barangay Central Glad, about five kilometers from the town center.

He sustained multiple gunshot wounds, police said.

Army Colonel Glenn Caballero, 34th IB commander, said the victims were on board a Yamaha Sniper motorbike heading to the town proper when two gunmen riding tandem on separate motorbike opened fire on them.

Both fell on a roadside dirt as the suspects on board a Kawasaki Bajaj motorbike fled.

Both soldiers who were in civilian clothes sustained multiple gunshot wounds.

Calinga said scene of the crime operatives found four empty shells for cal. 45 pistol at the crime scene.  

Army and police intelligence officials are looking at the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) as possible perpetrators since the Army’s 34th IB was instrumental in the neutralization of several BIFF fighters in recent months.

Manhunt had been launched. 

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