GENERAL SANTOSCITY – Suspected members of the ISIS-inspired Ansar Al-Khilafah Philippines terror group killed on Wednesday two policemen who were conducting patrol in an outskirt village in Polomolok, South Cotatabato.
Lt.Col. Alex Joe Orcajada, Polomolok police chief, said the policemen, aboard two motorcycles, were conducting patrol in Barangay Koronadal Proper, Polomolok when waylaid by seven heavily-armed men believed to be AKP members led by Jeoffrey Nilong.
He said two of the policemen, Patrolman Bryan Costello, 34, and P/Cpl Witzel Russ Betantos, 32, died during the attack. They succumbed to multiple bullet wounds.
Government troops have launched manhunt operations against the suspects who fled towards Barangay Datal Bob in nearby T’boli town.
Authorities tagged the AKP remnants group led by Nilong as responsible for the killing of several other policemen in the locality, including Senior Inspector Herman Gabat who was gunned down in a local restaurant in Polomolok in September 2017.
Brig. Gen. Alfred Corpus, Police Regional Office-12 director, condemned the attack and ordered a massive manhunt against the perpetrators.
Police said the suspects are also engaged in illegal drug trade, gun-for-hire and carnapping activities.
AKP was founded by Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, an estranged Moro Islamic Liberation Front leader who pledged allegiance to ISIS until he was killed during a military operation in Kiamba, Sarangani in January 2017.
Nilong, also an MILF member, assumed the leadership of the AKP which operates in SOCSARGEN (South Cotabato, Sarangani and General Santos) area. (Joseph Jubelag)