Thursday Jan, 20 2022 01:40:50 AM

4 cops wounded in clash with motorcycle thieves recovering 

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 20:00 PM Thu Dec 30, 2021
John M. Unson
 Police officers show some of the more than 400 motorcycles found in Barangay Gokotan in Pikit. (From PRO-12) 

PIKIT, North Cotabato --- The four policemen wounded in a deadly clash Wednesday morning with suspected motorcycle thieves in Barangay Gokotan here are now out of danger, recuperating in hospital.

Police Lt. Xiart Gatinao, Cpl. James Jay Belonio, the Patrolmen Aden Cocal and Christian Carl Ansing were injured when gunmen shot them with rifles and an M60 machinegun while approaching a yard in Barangay Gokotan where policemen and soldiers found 442 motorcycles.

The recovered motorcycles are now in the custody of the North Cotabato provincial police.

Five suspects, Badrudin Masulot Dalid, Arbaya Dalid Panizares, Asraf Dalid Masulot, Bunta Kabantu and a still unidentified male, were killed in the ensuing encounter.

The raiding team, led by Brig, Gen. Alexander Tagum, director of the Police Regional Office-12, immediately impounded the 442 motorcycles the suspects stored in makeshift shelters at a secluded spot in Barangay Gokotan.

“Our four wounded personnel are now out of danger,” Tagum said Thusday.

The police operation in Barangay Gokotan was two-pronged --- to search for North Cotabato’s most wanted law offender, Joel Manampan, and to validate reports purporting that gunmen are keeping almost 500 motorcycles in a private yard in the area.

Manampan is facing a murder case in the Regional Trial Court Branch 216 in Quezon City and is wanted by the RTC Branch 17 in Kidapawan City for another heinous offense.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government has raised a P170,000 bounty for Manampan, according to senior members of the multi-sector Region 12 Peace and Order Council.

The joint police-Army team that clashed with armed men in Barangay Gokotan Wednesday found in the scene of the encounter two M60 machineguns, a B-40 anti-tank rocket launcher, three M16 rifles, an M14 rifle, an M203 rifle, a .30 caliber Carbine, two .38 caliber revolvers and components for improvised explosive devices.

“We impounded the motorcycles kept in a yard in the area where the firefight happened. We shall enlist the help of experts in the Land Transportation Office to help us check on each unit based on LTO records,” Tagum said.

Tagum said the four policemen wounded in action belong to a Special Weapons and Tactics unit under his tactical control.


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