KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/20 July) – A militiaman was killed in a shootout with police during a raid on the house of a barangay chair in Magpet, North Cotabato on Friday, police said.
Elements of the Philippine National Police in Region 12 and North Cotabato raided the house of Elmar Manumba, chair of Barangay Tagbak who was accused of keeping unlicensed guns and explosives, around 3 am on Friday.
But his nephew, Elias Manumba, a member of the Citizens Armed Force Geographical Unit allegedly tried to engage the raiding team, the police in Magpet said.
Senior Inspector Jose Mari Molina, chief of Magpet PNP, said the team confiscated from the house of the elder Manumba two shotguns, three caliber 45 pistols, and a fragmentation grenade.
The search warrant issued by a court in Kidapawan said Manumba was believed keeping in his possession explosives and firearms.
Manumba cried foul and accused the raiding team of planting evidence against him.
“I know they deliberately placed the hand grenade inside my house so they would have all the reasons to put me behind bars,” he said.
He even accused policemen of “pocketing” the cash he placed inside his sling bag, which was also taken as evidence by the team.
“Why would they get my cash? That’s mine. It wasn’t even used in any illegal activity. It’s clean money. This is really sad and I myself witnessed how abusive our policemen were,” he said.
He said the firearms that were recovered inside his house were meant as protection against the New People’s Army.
Manumba was implicated as the “mastermind” behind the gun attack against another village chair identified as Ferdinand Cariaga of Barangay Sallab, also in Magpet, on July 10.
Cariaga was seriously wounded when an unidentified gunman shot him twice in his neck while on his way to Poblacion, Magpet.
Cariaga is said to have been urged by his peers to run as president of the Association of Barangay Councils in Magpet which Manumba currently heads.
Manumba, however, said he was willing to give up his post. “In fact, I was telling my co-chair to vote for Cariaga because I am no longer interested in that position.”
The barangay chair of Del Pilar won the ABC election. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)