KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 23 October) – A policeman and a former Army man died in a shootout between them in Arakan, North Cotabato on Thursday, the Cotabato Provincial Police Office said.
Provincial police director Col. Henry Villar identified the slain policeman whom they considered a “fallen hero” as Senior Master Sergeant Rofel Manuel, 44, a member of the Arakan Municipal Police Station and a resident of Barangay New Cebu in nearby President Rojas, also in North Cotabato.
The other fatality, Arnold Maligatong, 40, was a former member of the Philippine Army who worked as security guard at Mountain Mix Mining Corporation in Arakan.
Villar said Manuel and other policemen went to the house of Maligatong in Sitio Pine Tree, Barangay Libertad to serve the warrant of arrest for a murder case which happened a few years back.
But Maligatong reportedly resisted arrest and tried to escape bringing along a pistol.
Manuel urged Maligatong to surrender. The latter, however, shot Manuel in the chest. The policeman managed to shoot back and also hit the suspect.
Both were declared dead on arrival at a hospital in Arakan, Villar said.
The operatives recovered from the suspect a caliber .45 pistol with eight rounds of ammunition and two magazines.
In a statement, Villar expressed grief over the death of Manuel who, he said, deserved honor and recognition for his “immeasurable contribution to the PNP (Philippine National Police) organization.” (Malu Cadeliña Manar/MindaNews)