A SPECIAL Action Force (SAF) trooper and 12 armed men were killed in a firefight during a police operation against a former barangay captain in Sultan Kudarat before dawn Saturday, January 23, 2021.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Debold Sinas identified the fallen SAF policeman as Staff Sergeant Elenel Pido.
He was among the police and military personnel who clashed with the armed followers of Datu Pendatun Talusan, a former barangay chairman of Barangay Limbo, at around 3 a.m. of January 23.
“I extend the deepest sympathy of the PNP to his orphaned family whom we assure of all the benefits and support,” Sinas said in a statement.
Police conducted the operation to serve arrest warrants on Talusan for the crimes of carnapping, robbery with homicide, double frustrated murder and illegal possession of firearms.
The warrants were issued by the Cotabato City and Sultan Kudarat regional trial courts.
Two of the 12 slain followers of Talusan were identified as Datu Abdullah Talusan and Datu Bembi Talusan. The 10 others were being identified.
Recovered from Talusan’s barricaded position were six M16 rifles, one M14 rifle, one FN-FAL rifle, an improvised Barrett-type rifle, one cal .22 rifle and two cal .45 pistols.
The operation was conducted by elements of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, SAF, Regional Intelligence Division of Police Regional Office, Regional Mobile Force Battalion 14, Sultan Kudarat Municipal Police Station and Philippine Marines Battalion Landing Team 2. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo / SunStar Philippines)