Son of Maguindanao ex-guv, 4 others killed in checkpoint shootout

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DAVAO CITY (July 8) — Five men including the son of a former Governor were killed, after the group onboard a luxury vehicle allegedly opened fire on soldiers manning a checkpoint on Friday night in Pikit, North Cotabato.

Brig. Gen. Alfredo del Rosario, commander of the Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade, said the soldiers manning a checkpoint in Barangay Inug-ug, Pikit, flagged down a gray Nissan Patrol with licensed plate LEM-521 as it approached the Pagalungan bridge for regular inspection at about 9:30 p.m.

But instead of slowing down for inspection, the group allegedly sped up, the soldiers then alarmed the next checkpoint about the said vehicle.

When the vehicle reached the second checkpoint they fired at the soldiers, which prompted the soldiers to return fire.

The fatalities were identified as Hashim Matalam, son of former Maguindanao Gov. Nurodin Matalam, and Buton Bacocol, a resident of Matina Pangi, Davao City.

Matalam was identified by his mother, Councilor Bai Noraisa Matalam of Pagalungan, Maguindanao, Del Rosario said.

Personnel of the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) found Three sachets of suspected “shabu” and paraphernalia for using the drug were also found in the vehicle

Hashim was buried beside the tomb of his father in Sitio Tangila, Barangay Poblacion, Pagalungan.

Soldiers and police investigators found an M16 rifle, a .45-caliber pistol, rifle grenade, hand grenade and ammunition inside the victims’ car.

Del Rosario said the soldiers were on heightened alert due to a brewing clan war involving commanders of Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the interior villages of Pikit that started Wednesday. -cacs

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