Cops kill gunrunner in shootout

COTABATO CITY — An entrapment operation targeting illegal firearms trading in Sultan Kudarat town in the southern Philippines went haywire on Saturday, forcing police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) agents to shoot and kill an alleged gunrunner.

Agents of the CIDG-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, led by Lt. Col. Ariel S. Huesca, were forced to shoot Datun L. Mastura, 56, for pulling a gun on them during a sting to purchase two M16 rifles in Sitio Mamadra, Barangay Limbo, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao del Norte.

He shot and wounded Patrolman Raffy Jacinto, said Mr. Huesca.

The second suspect, Norodin M. Sulaiman, 33, an alleged member of the Task Force Ittihad of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, was arrested after the brief shootout.

Brig. Gen. Prexy D. Tanggawohn, Bangsamoro police director, said Mr. Mastura, a radiology technician at the Sanitarium Hospital in the same municipality, was tipped off by residents of the town to police for his alleged gunrunning activities. 

Mr. Tanggawohn and Mr. Huesca separately told reporters that Mr. Sulaiman is set to be charged with violation of Republic Act 10591 that prohibits possession, or sale of firearms, ammunition and explosives without permission from the Philippine National Police. — John Felix M. Unson