Entrapment operation vs extortion gang ends in shootout; suspect killed

TACURONG CITY (MindaNews/10 January) – An entrapment operation involving a supposed payment of extortion money in a restaurant in Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat province Wednesday noon ended in a shootout, killing the alleged extortionist and injuring a policeman.

Superintendent Rolen Balquin, provincial director of Sultan Kudarat police said that at around 11:50 a.m. on Wednesday, a joint police and Army intelligence operation conducted an entrapment operation against an extortion group that was set to meet with representatives from the Husky Bus Line at Mang Gorio Restaurant in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. The extortionists, he said, were asking P1 million from the bus company.

“The operation resulted to gunbattle between the two suspects and our operatives after a commotion took place when the receiver of supposed extortion money resisted arrest. Unknowingly, a back-up companion fired his .45 caliber pistol hitting one of our policeman,” Superintendent Roel Sermese, police chief of Isulan town, said.

PO2 Adrian Ong who was wounded in his stomach, is now in stable condition. But one Saddam Sulaiman was killed in the exchange of fire while his companion Yasser Subho was arrested.

A caliber.45 with several ammunitions and two hand grenades were confiscated from the suspects along with ID cards of the MILF Task Force Ittihad. The Task Force is a peacekeeping force of the MILF whose mandate is to resolve rido or blood feuds among members and supporters of the Front.

Balquin said they got from Subho’s possession an ID which states his affiliation with the MILF and the task force.

MILF spokesperson Von Al Haq told MindaNews the MILF “will  conduct investigation to ferret out the veracity of the report, more particularly the affiliation of the suspect that would include the ID and other recovered items.

Husky Bus Inc,  the lone bus line operating the Cotabato-Gensan route, has been receiving several extortion threats.

A newly purchased unit of Husky Bus was bombed on December 29, injuring six persons.

In November 2012, a suspected bomber named Abdul Rahman Alyas Teng , who admitted  he is member of an extortion group named “ Abu Sulayman” was apprehended by authorities after he was positively identified by witnesses to have planted an exploded IED at the crossing of Tacurong Gensan Highway and City Terminal road. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews with a report from Malu Cadelina-Manar)