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PIA Press Release

Bandits fall in South Cotabato

Tupi, South Cotabato (6 October) -- Two notorious bandits victimizing people in South Cotabato fell into the hands of authorities in Sitio Lubol, Brgy Sepaka in Surallah town Friday morning October 2, 2009.

Joint elements of Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) and Barangay Police Laban sa Krimen (BPLK) led by a certain Sgt Arnold Dolojo engaged a group of bandits in a firefight at 7am Friday which left two bandits dead. The numerically superior bandits nearly overpowered the CAFGU/BPLK members which resulted to the killing of three CAFGU members and wounding of two civilian volunteers. Authorities also recovered two homemade 12-gauge shot gun in the crime scene.

The dead bandits were identified as Alyas Pudin, the bandit leader and Siwa Lampangan a known cattle rustler and robber operating in Sultan Kudarat Province. The fatalities on the government side were identified as CAFGU members Kledy V Alvarez, Dante Villanueva and Herman Villanueva while the wounded were civilian volunteers namely Mamerto Sison and Danny Villanueva all residents of Brgy Sepaka, Suralla, South Cotabato.

The said shoot-out happened when CAFGU and BPLK members responded to a call by residents regarding the presence of bandits who ransacked several houses.

Lt. Col. Joshua Santiago, commander of the army's 27th Infantry Battalion in South Cotabato expressed grief over the death of CAFGU members and extended his condolences to the bereaved families of the fatalities. "We are saddened by what happened but it is our job to protect the lives and properties of our citizens against any criminal elements. This shows the dedication of our troops in doing their mandate even to the point of doing the supreme sacrifice by giving their own life in order to serve and protect our people." Santiago said.

Let this bring a strong message and serve as a warning to those who wanted to commit crimes against the people in South Cotabato and elsewhere, our troops are ready to face them squarely," Santiago added (10ID) [top]

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