Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) Commander bared that three lawless elements were killed in a clash with joint military and police forces in Polomolok, South Cotabato, on Sunday afternoon, December 20, 2020.
“Based on the report from the ground, the joint elements of the 5th Special Forces Battalion and Polomolok Municipal Police Station were to serve a warrant of arrest with Criminal Case Number 5372-18 and 5749-19 for murder against Tho Catucan at Purok 1, Barangay Sumbakil, Polomolok when they were fired upon by the subject personality and his armed cohorts,” said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Commander of the WesMinCom.
“The two camps exchanged fire, which resulted in the severe wounding of Catucan and two of his comrades identified as Jer Maguisulan and Rabino Kutin y Manalasal. They were immediately rushed to Polomolok Municipal Hospital but were declared Dead on Arrival (DOA) by the attending physician,” Vinluan added.
The altercation also resulted in the wounding of the operating forces’ two guides.
“We regret to report that one of the guides was declared Dead on Arrival by the attending physician at Polomolok Municipal Hospital,” said Lt. Col. Randy Banaag, Commanding Officer of the 5th Special Forces Battalion.
“The other guide is currently admitted at the said hospital and is now in stable condition,” Banaag added.
The encounter location yielded one Caliber 45 Pistol and one 9MM UZI Sub-Machine Pistol.
“On behalf of the operating troops, I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to the family and relatives of the killed guide. I, likewise, commend his bravery and heroic deed,” said Brig. Gen. Roy Galido, Commander of the 601st Infantry Brigade.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, the Joint Task Force Central Commander, said, “May this serve as a warning to the terrorists and other lawless elements that taking up arms against the security forces will never resolve conflicts but rather create more chaotic situations.”
“You better face the consequences of your previous actions rather than resisting arrest and endangering the lives of many,” Uy added.