2 drug suspects slain in North Cotabato

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 23 January) — Two alleged drug pushers were killed in a raid Tuesday in Kabacan town in North Cotabato, a police official said.

Chief Inspector Lorenzo Henarez, head of the Regional Police Anti-Drug Unit of Philippine National Police -12, identified the suspects as Jonathan Mangakoy, member of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team of Barangay Aringay, and Sendatuk Baliwan, both residents of the same barangay.

The raiding team arrested a third suspect who was placed under the custody of the Kabacan police. Henarez said Mangakoy and Baliwan resisted arrest and engaged them in a shootout when they raided their houses at around 3:00am on Tuesday.

Both suspects sustained wounds in their heads and chest. They died on the spot, he added.

The police official said the suspects were among those listed in the 25 search warrants issued by a court in Kidapawan City for cases related to illegal drugs and illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives.

Police allegedly recovered from the suspects a pistol, a shotgun, and a hand grenade, but their wives denied the allegation.

Mangakoy’s wife said the police raided their house without any warrant of arrest and a barangay official as witness.

“What happened was the police destroyed our door, told us to lie down, shot my husband, and then said that he resisted. But my husband did not resist,” she said in Filipino.

Amira, wife of Sendatuk Baliwan, said the police entered their house looking for one “Estong” and when her husband told them he wasn’t that person they shot him in the head.

“The police forced me out of the room. When I reached the door they shot my husband. They asked him if he was ‘Estong’. When he replied that he wasn’t ‘Estong’ and he asked them what his crime was, they shot him. He was shot inside our house,” she said in Filipino.

Amira also denied her husband was into selling drugs.

Both wives wanted to file charges against the raiding team.

Henarez said he respects the wives’ version of the story and if, indeed, cases would be filed against him and his team they would be willing to face them in court.

Henarez led the raiding team, which included operatives from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in North Cotabato, Regional Public Safety Battalion, Kabacan municipal police station, and the Cotabato Police Provincial Office. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)