Three people died after allegedly figuring in a shootout with law enforcers who were about to carry out a search operation in Midsayap town, Cotabato province, the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said Sunday.
Members of the 34th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and local police were serving a warrant of arrest against Tony Mamintal Doloan in Barangay Kapinpilan on Saturday morning when suspected members of a crime group fired at them, said Westmincom Commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan.
Vinluan said the 30-minute firefight led to the deaths of 3 members of the alleged members of the crime group.
Authorities also arrested Satar Manticayaw and Hazel Joy Camancho Mamintal.
“They are members of the lawless group known for the conduct of illegal drug trade in the province,” said Lt. Col. Glenn Caballero, commanding officers of the 34th Infantry Battalion.
Doloan escaped during the clash, authorities said.
Law enforcers seized 7 sachets of suspected shabu weighing around 35 grams with an estimated value of P210,000.
Also seized in the operation were rifles and 3 motorcycles without plate numbers, authorities said.
The bodies of the three were turned over to the chairperson of Barangay Kapinpilan. Those arrested are now in the custody of the Midsayap police, authorities said.