Extortionist killed in Kudarat shootout-A A +A
Thursday, January 10, 2013
KIDAPAWAN CITY -- A suspected member of an extortion group operating in Central Mindanao was killed in a shootout with police and military intelligence operatives inside a restaurant in Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat around noon Wednesday.
Senior Superintendent Rolen Balquin, provincial police director, identified the slain suspected extortionist as Saddam Sulaiman.
Authorities arrested during the shootout a certain Yasser Subho, member of the Task Force Ittihad of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The Task Force Ittihad is a peacekeeping force of the MILF whose mandate is to resolve rido or blood feud among members and supporters of the Moro front.
Balquin said they have taken from Subho's possession an identification card, which states his affiliation with the MILF and the task force.
Balquin said that around 11:50 a.m. of Wednesday, his men, including Army and other police intelligence operatives in Central Mindanao, conducted an entrapment operation against an extortion group that was set to meet with representatives from the Husky Bus Line at Mang Gorio Restaurant in Isulan.
The extortionists, he said, were asking P1 million from the bus company.
During the course of negotiations, a shootout between the operatives and extortion group occurred, leading to the killing of Sulaiman and the wounding of Subho.
Police Officer 2 Adrian Ong, intelligence operative of the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Police Office, was also injured during the incident.
Authorities recovered from the crime scene a caliber .45 pistol, which they believed was owned by Sulaiman, and two fragmentation grenades.
Both the injured -- Subho and Ong -- were brought to a hospital in Sultan Kudarat for treatment.
Subho, according to Balquin, was placed under tight security by authorities, adding that appropriate charges are being readied against the extortion group.
The entrapment operation was conducted jointly by intelligence operatives and Special Operation Group of the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Police Office, Isulan Municipal Police Station, Military Intelligence Company, and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.
On December 29, a unit of Husky Bus Line was damaged when a roadside bomb exploded along the rotunda in Isulan town where five persons, three of them bus passengers, were seriously injured.
The Yellow Bus Line unit that was behind the Husky bus was also hit during the explosion, reports said.
Authorities hinted extortion as behind the recent bombings in Sultan Kudarat and nearby provinces.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 11, 2013.