Police identify suspects in Zamboanga del Norte town clash

AUTHORITIES are preparing to file criminal charges against the 10 gunmen behind the recent atrocities in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, the police reported on Sunday, June 4.

Senior Superintendent Edwin Buenaventura Wagan, Zamboanga del Norte police director, said two of the 10 gunmen have been identified through the help of the witnesses.

Positively identified by witnesses through the photographs at the rogue gallery of the police were Halid Antao Yacob, 28, and Faizal Indal, 29, both residents of the village of Panabuatan, Sirawai, Zamboanga Del Norte.

The suspects figured in a firefight when pursuing security forces caught them around 4:30 a.m., Saturday, June 3, in the village of Dionisio Riconalla, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte.

The suspects held hostage three villagers and made them as human shields to stop the troops from pursuing them.

The troops safely rescued two of the hostages who were taken as human shields. Unfortunately, the third hostage was killed in the crossfire.

The suspects were also involved in a skirmish with government forces last Tuesday, May 30, in the village of Doña Cecilla, Sirawai, a neighboring town of Siocon.

Wagan said the motive of the suspects in staging the atrocities is extortion.

“Documentation is being prepared by Siocon MPS for filing of appropriate charges in court against the suspects,” he added.

The Municipal Government of Siocon headed by Mayor Julius Lobrigas has provided the 10 family-evacuees of their basic needs and commodities.

They fled for fear of their lives. They are temporarily sheltered at the village hall of Dionisio Riconalla, Siocon. (SunStar Philippines)
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