TWO members of local terrorist group Maute were killed in an encounter with government forces shortly after they forcibly took a vehicle owned by a businessman Friday in Iligan City.
This was confirmed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) spokesperson Captain Jo-Ann Petinglay.
Petinglay identified the fatalities as Azzam Ampua Tahir and a certian Wowie, both from the local terror Maute group. Arrested was Eyeman Alonto from Marawi City.
Petinglay said the incident occurred at around 8:45 a.m. along C3 road Bgy. Ubaldo Laya, Iligan City.
Prior to the incident, the suspects forcibly took a white Ford Ranger XLT pick-up owned by a businessman identified as Othelo Adiong, 36.
Accordingly, Adiong was driving his car together with his mother Elvira Adiong, 62, his wife Esthepanie Adiong and their son, when they were blocked by the suspects and forcibly took the vehicle.
The incident was immediately reported to authorities who quickly responded.
Combined police and military conducted a followup operation and engaged an armed group believed to be cohorts of the suspects.
The encounter resulted in the arrest of one suspect.
The suspects riding in the carnapped vehicle were intercepted at a checkpoint by military personnel.
A firefight occurred that led to the killing of two Maute members.
Recovered from the crime scene were an M4 rifle with three magazines and 60 rounds of ammunition and a Cal. .45 pistol belonging to the group.
Westmincom Commander Maj. Gen. Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., lauded the troops for neutralizing the suspects and helping the victims.
“I would like to laud the forces for the readiness and professionalism they have manifested. And I am assuring the public that the government forces will continue to look after cities and communities so that these bad elements will not be able to conduct freely any atrocities,” Galvez said.
“The prompt response of the government forces, as well as the quick coordination made by the police with the military, led to the successful neutralization and arrest of the members of the terror group and the recovery of their firearms,” he added.