Terrorist organization supporter injured in a police operation in South Cotabato

On Monday afternoon, a police operation in Polomolok town, South Cotabato, wounded a wanted person who was designated as a supporter of an Islamic State-inspired local terrorist group.

In an interview on Tuesday, Maj. Randy Apostol, deputy chief of the Polomolok municipal police station, identified the suspect as Alvar Utap Sambial alias “Bari Sambial” of Purok Maguindanao, Barangay Lumakil.

Sambial was wounded in a brief battle with police agents who were serving a warrant of arrest against him for attempted murder at his residence around 1:30 PM, he added.

“The suspect resisted and opened fire after noticing the presence of the operating team, leading to the firefight,” he said.

Sambial was injured all over his body and was taken to the Pomolok Municipal Hospital before being transferred to the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital in Koronadal City.

A .38 caliber revolver with live bullets and four sachets of suspected shabu weighing around a gram and priced at P6,860 were recovered from the suspect.

Apostol claimed Sambial was a supporter of the Dawlah Islamiya-Socsargen Khatiba, which operates in the area, based on intelligence information.

In the last two years, the organization has been linked to a slew of criminal operations in the area, including armed robbery and illegal drug trafficking.

The suspect will be charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition under Republic Act (RA) 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, direct assault, and Section 11 or possession of dangerous drugs under RA 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

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