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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Ex-Cotabato councilor killed in anti-drugs operation

A FORMER councilor in Pikit, North Cotabato was killed Tuesday in an anti-illegal drugs operation that also led in the recovery of a missing firearm issued to a Special Action Force (SAF) commando killed in the bloody 2015 Mamasapano encounter.

Anti-illegal Drugs Operations Task Force - Soccsksargen head Superintendent Maximo Sebastian identified the fatality as Dindo Piang who was killed after he engaged the police in a firefight.

Piang ran for vice mayor in the recent local elections but lost.

Sebastian said narcotics operatives together with members of the Philippine Army were set to serve nine search warrants in three residential compounds near the town’s public market in Barangay Malaulanan--in which Piang’s house is located--when the firefight occurred.

“Piang is listed as a high-value target in this co-plan operation; he resisted arrest and opted to shoot it out with lawmen. Our troops responded accordingly,” said Sebastian, adding that he was rushed to the local hospital but eventually died due to the gunshot wounds he obtained from the encounter.

Sebastian said a calibre .45 pistol was recovered from the killed suspect.

The official said among the houses included in the search was that of Nasser Karim, who was identified as the son of Pikit deputy police chief Senior Inspector Sindatu Karim.

Sebastian said firearms recovered from the younger Karim were four units of M-16 armalite rifles, two units of M-14 rifles, several ammunition and hand-held radio equipment.

He said after checking the high-powered firearms seized from Karim, one of the four M-16 rifles is government-owned that was issued to a SAF trooper killed in the Mamasapano clash.

"This was properly identified and verified by our comrades in SAF during the verification and documentation of firearms,” Sebastian said.

Karim's father came into defense, saying that they acquired the firearms for self-protection due to threats they are receiving recently.

As to why and how the SAF owned firearm got into Karim's hand, Sebastian said it is still under investigation. (Sunnex)
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