A suspected Abu Sayyaf leader was killed during a firefight with government forces in Basilan on Friday morning, the military said.
Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr. identified the fatality as Poloy Hallang, alias Commander Heck.
Vinluan said members of the 4th Special Forces Battalion, 53rd and 54th Special Action companies of the PNP Special Action Force, 2nd Basilan Province Mobile Force Company, and CIDG Basilan were serving an arrest warrant against Hallang and companions Amil Hallang and Ronie Hallang in Barangay Baungis, Lantawan town leading up to the encounter.
“The target personalities resisted arrest and initiated gunfire against the operating troops. A short exchange of fire ensued, yielding to the neutralization of Commander Heck,” Lt. Col. Alex Ampati, Commanding Officer of the 4SFB, said in his report to Vinluan.
Two SAF personnel were injured.
Recovered from the scene were an M16 rifle and assorted ammunition.
Joint Task Force Basilan Commander Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway said Hallang was on the Abu Sayyaf watchlist.
Hallang has a criminal case for murder dated June 8, 2010.
He also allegedly participated in an armed engagement with the 14th Special Forces Company in Lantawan in 2014, which resulted in the death of Captain Mark Zember Gamboa.
Hallang was also responsible for the killing of a certain Noning Jainal of Lantawan, according to Gobway.