10 suspects in PDEA ambush charged, suspects elude arrest

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ILIGAN CITY (October 10) —  Police authorities have filed charges against the 10 suspects behind the killing of five Philippine Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEA) agents on October 5.

Chief Superintendent Graciano Mijares, regional director of Police Regional Office-ARMM told Newsline: “Na file na namin ang kaso kagabi, but the case is not considered close, we will pursue the suspects and the investigation will continue .”

Charged before the court are : William  Gandawali (Mastermind), who is also the Barangay  Chair of Inudaran, Tagoloan ll;  his son Oscar Capal Gandawali, Palawan Salem Macalabo, Lala Lolo Amboloto, Jamal Lolo Amboloto, Mizangcad Panonde Gandawali, Aiman Guro Gandawali, Jamel Borar alias Memekan and two John Does.

The suspects were charged over the death of PDEA agents Kenneth Tabulo, Kristine Mae Torlao, Lores Joy Amar,  Binzo Dipolla and  Diobel Pacinio, they were ambushed along the highway in Barangay Malna, Kapai town, Lanao del Sur on October 5.

Mijares said the suspects are relatives of the slained high-value target- a certain Comayug Macapagal, a native of Tagoloan, Lanao del Sur.

Macapagal was killed in a shoot out  with  Lanao del Sur’s Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU)  on August  8, inside the  premises of Provincial Police Office in  Marawi City.

Intelligence reports showed,  Macapagal’s nephew  Oscar Capal Gandawali, a resident of Mindanao State University campus in Marawi  City, reportedly organized his close relatives to revenge the death of his uncle.

The relationship:

1. William Comayog Gandawali is the older brother of Comayog Macapagal.

2. Oscar is the son of William Comayug Gandawali.

3. Aiman Gandawali is the son of Macapagal and nephew of William.

4. Lala Lolo Amboloto and Jamal Lolo Amboloto are brothers. They are nephews of Comayog Macapagal to another sibling.

6. Palawan Salem Macalabo is also a   nephew  of Macapagal from a different sibling.

7. Mizangkad Panonde Gandawali is a nephew of Macapagal

8. Jamel Borar a.k.a. Memekan is a relative by affinity and an identified associate of Macapagal in illegal drugs trade.

9. Two other John Does who are also believed to be their relatives..

PDEA director General Aaron Aquino in an interview with  NewsLine,  identified the mastermind as William C. Gandawali.

Chief Inspector Christopher Cabugwang, chief of the PDEU, said Gandawali was identified by their witnesses as the mastermind of the ambush.

Investigators conducted a reenactment at the crime scene last  Monday, October 8.

The motive

Mijares said  Cabugwang was supposed to be the target of the ambush in retaliation of Macapagal’s death  in August.

Personnel from  PNP-PDEU,  Special Action Force and 82nd Infantry Battalion  of the Philippine Army,    on Monday went to Gandawali’s house to serve the  warrant issued by  Judge Wenida M. Papandayan, executive judge  of the 12th Judicial Region of the Regional Trial Court Lanao del Sur in Marawi City,  but  the alleged mastermind  was nowhere to be found.

The warrant was in violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunition against.

Recovered from his house were: M16 rifle with magazine and ammunition, caliber 45 w magazines and ammunition, a handwritten sketch of ambush plan, biscuits and candies.

The team also recovered the case folder of the buy-bust operation against Comayog Macapagal.

ALSO READ: 5-pdea-agents-killed-2-others-hurt-in-lanao-sur-ambush

Operatives conducted a reenactment in the area, Tuesday morning October 9.

During the reenactment, it was found out that four police escorts,  aboard a blue revo, was traveling ahead of the PDEA’s van when gunmen attacked the agents at close range.-Divina M. Suson/NewsLine.ph

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