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Cop, wanted ex-Army man killed in North Cotabato shootout





KIDAPAWAN CITY – A former member of the Philippine Army wanted for a murder case and one of the policemen assigned to arrest him were killed in a shootout at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday in Arakan, North Cotabato, reports from the Cotabato Provincial Police Office (CPPO) said.

Police Col. Henry Villar, CPPO provincial director, identified the slain policeman whom they considered a “fallen hero” as Police Staff Master Sergeant (SMS) Rofel Manuel, 44, member of the Arakan Municipal Police Station and a resident of Barangay New Cebu, President Rojas, also in North Cotabato.

Also killed during the shootout was a certain Arnold Maligatong, 40, former member of the Philippine Army who worked as security guard of the Mountain Mix Mining Corporation located in Arakan town.

Villar said Staff Master Sergeant Manuel, along with other members of the Arakan Police, went to the house of Maligatong at Sitio Pine Tree, Barangay Libertad in Arakan to serve the warrant for his arrest on a murder case which was filed a few years back.

The former soldier, however, resisted arrest and tried to escape while holding his issued pistol.

Manuel urged Maligatong to stop running and face them instead.

The former soldier, however, defied the order and shot Manuel in the chest.  Though badly wounded, the police officer was able to return fire and hit the target.

Manuel and the murder suspect were declared dead upon their arrival at the nearest hospital in Arakan town, Villar said.

The operatives seized from the suspect a .45-caliber pistol, two pieces of magazines, and eight pieces of ammunition for the pistol.

Villar, in a statement, expressed grief over the death of one of his brave operatives in Arakan.

He said Manuel deserved honor and recognition for his bravery – a trait considered an “immeasurable contribution to the PNP organization.”