North Cotabato town deploys more cops, soldiers

North Cotabato town deploys more cops, soldiers to ensure peaceful New Year revelry

KABACAN, North Cotabato, Dec. 30 (PNA) — The local government here has deployed more police personnel and police force multipliers to secure far-flung villages as the town prepares for New Year’s revelry.

Mayor Gerlo Guzman of Kabacan also ordered the establishment of police outposts in crime-prone areas following two separate ambuscades that left four persons dead.

He said elements of the 34th Infantry Battalion were sent to augment the Kabacan police.

Police and military personnel are hunting down two men armed with automatic rifles who shot dead four persons in separate ambuscades in remote villages here, Senior Inspector Randy Apostol said.

Senior Inspector Randy Apostol, police chief of Kabacan, said the two gunmen have been identified based on CCTV of the town gallery where the victims and the suspects had participated in an afternoon cockfight.

Apostol identified the victims in the first ambush as Franz Villanueva, 28, Jerry Uyanguren, 52, and his 48-year-old brother, Roland.

They all died instantly due to bullet wounds in the head and body.


The victims were on motorcycles en route to Barangay Aringay in Kabacan from a cockpit in a nearby village when masked men armed with M-16 assault rifles attacked while them atop a bridge in Barangay Aringay.

Two of their companions, Calixto Villasor, 41 and Richie Daniles, 32, were seriously wounded in the shooting.

The gunmen hurriedly left when they noticed village watchmen and members of Barangay Police Action Team (BPAT).

Apostol said the victims were carrying more than PHP20,000 they won in the cockfight. The cash and mobile phones of the victims were recovered by responding police.

Kabacan Mayor Herlo Guzman has convened the town peace and order council to prevent a similar incident in the future. The council also agreed to establish a police detachment in Barangay Aringay, especially on a dirt road leading to the village from the town center.

The Aringay ambush was followed by another ambush an hour later in Barangay Kayaga, also in Kabacan, that resulted in the death of 32-year-old farmer Jess Francisco.

Aposto said Francisco was on his way home to nearby Carmen town, also in North Cotabato, riding a Yamaha DT motorcycle when two men armed with .45 caliber pistols flagged him down and opened fire.

Francisco sustained eight bullet wounds in different parts of his body.

Apostol said the victim was a police informant and the suspects in his murder were believed to be involved in illegal drugs. (PNA)