COMBINED police and military forces have arrested four of the suspects behind the ambush-slay of a town mayor four years ago in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay, an official announced on Monday, July 31.
Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula Information Officer Helen Galvez identified the arrested suspects as Basir Samson, 30, Asari Sabilin, 35, Jul-Asri Delos Reyes, 25, and Meloddin Untong, 47.
Galvez said they were arrested in a law enforcement operation around 12:44 p.m., Friday, July 28, at Sitio Pangi in the village of Lower Tungawan, Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Galvez said the arresting team swooped down Sitio Pangi in the village of Lower Tungawan after it was reported that the suspects were sighted in the area.
She said the arrested suspects were among the several persons named in the arrest warrant dated February 6, 2017 issued by the court in Zamboanga Sibugay.
She said the other suspects identified in the warrant of arrest are the following: Nasser Sabilin, Bakrin Irijainsakinal, Alamain Labain, Mahmod Kalim, Halid Samat, Hakim Hassan, Janori Sabilin, Saldaani Abdulla, and several John Does.
The suspects are facing the following charges in court: one-count murder; five-count frustrated murder; and, six-count attempted murder.
They were tagged as among those responsible in the ambush-slay of Mayor Randy Climaco of Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay on October 12, 2012.
Six others, including Climaco’s vice mayor, were wounded during the incident that occurred at Purok 7 in the village of Cayamcam, Tungawan.
They were ambushed hours after they filed certificates of candidacy (COC) as it was the first day of filing of COC for the 2013 local and national elections.
Climaco's group was aboard a pick-up type vehicle headed for the village of Libertad from Barangay Batungan when ambushed by a group of unidentified gunmen.
Galvez said a caliber .45 pistol with ammunition were confiscated from the suspects’ possession. They were placed under the custody of the police. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)