Cop seeks probe of death of son, 2 companions, in ‘shootout’ in Sultan Kudarat

Vice Mayor Francis Eric Recinto of Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat presides the session of the municipal council on Monday (Dec. 5, 2022) during which the town police chief was summoned to answer questions surrounding the death of Horton Ansa Jr. and his two companions on Dec. 2, 2022. Photo from the Lambayong LGU Facebook page

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 05 December) – A policeman assigned in Maguindanao del Sur is calling for an in-depth investigation into the death of three teenagers, including his son and namesake, in an alleged shootout with police in Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat last Friday, Dec. 2.

Patrolman Horton Ansa Sr., who is assigned in Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Maguindanao del Sur could hardly accept that his son and namesake was killed allegedly for resisting arrest.

Ansa Sr. said his son, a criminology student, wanted to become a police officer like him and his grandfather.  

The elder Ansa was on duty at Shariff Saydona on Friday morning when informed of the incident.

He stressed that he knew police procedures during law enforcement operations like the conduct of post-crime investigation by the Scene-of-the-Crime Operatives (SOCO), which he said did not happen.

He rejected the Lambayong police report that his son and his companions were carrying a gun and illegal drugs and traded shots with lawmen.

“He can’t do that, he doesn’t even know how to fire a gun, I didn’t expose them to hold a gun, more so on illegal drugs, you can ask our neighborhood,” he said.

He recalled that his eldest son is serving as his “muezzin” or the one who wakes neighborhood  every morning for the dawn prayer from the mosque.

“I called on President Marcos and to the hierarchy of our Philippine National Police to conduct thorough investigation so that justice will prevail,” he said in an interview.

“We are policemen, our duty is to protect civilians from harm and not kill them,” he said, adding the three youngsters also dreamed to be policemen. 

Major Jenahmeel Toñacao, Lambayong town police chief, said his men were conducting crime prevention operation in Purok 4, Barangay Didtaras, Lambayong past 12 midnight last Friday.

They reportedly noticed three men on board a motorbike heading toward the town proper and flagged them down for inspection.

The three reportedly disregarded the checkpoint, turned back and sped away forcing police to chase them. 

A shootout ensued during the chase, the Lambayong police further alleged.

But the families and friends of the slain teenagers refuted the police report.

The three were rushed to Evangelista Clinic in Lambayong but were all pronounced dead on arrival.

Toñacao insisted that the operation was legitimate. He added that relatives may file complaints against the Lambayong PNP if they so desire. 

Ansa Sr. was delighted by the support they are getting from netizens and from lawyers like Ronald Torres Dimacisil and several others who vowed to handle the case pro bono.

He said he doesn’t want the same thing to happen to other young people. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)