Maguindanao del Norte

2 cops linked to killing of Maguindanao del Norte police captain arrested

Rommel Rebollido

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2 cops linked to killing of Maguindanao del Norte police captain arrested
Police in Parang, Maguindanao del Norte, now consider the case closed with the arrest of two suspects and three others identified

GENERAL SANTOS, Philippines – Authorities arrested two policemen linked to the killing of a police captain at a public market in Parang town, Maguindanao del Norte, on Thursday, May 2.

Parang police chief Major Christopher Cabugwang said the case is considered solved, even as he disclosed they were looking for three other suspects who fled after the shooting.

Cabugwang, who did not identify the arrested suspects, said they were placed under police custody.

“We have their identities. They are relatives of the slain prime suspect,” he said.

The primary suspect, earlier identified as Mohiden Ramalan Untal, was wounded during a shootout with Captain Roland Moralde, who was assigned with the 14th Mobile Force Battalion of the Bangsamoro region police. Untal also died later, the police official said.

Cabugwang said Moralde was at the market when he allegedly tried to accost Untal for carrying a gun. But, instead of yielding to the police officer, Untal allegedly fired several times at Moralde.

A closed-circuit television (CCTV) helped the police identify the other assailants who turned out to be policemen, too.

CCTV footage, which went viral on social media, shows five armed men shooting Moralde in cold blood even as he was already slumped on the ground.

Cabugwang said medico-legal officers found at least 20 bullets from an assortment of handguns and rifles in Moralde’s body. A murder case is being readied against the five suspects.

Citing witnesses’ accounts, Cabugwang said Moralde, who was in his uniform, chased the fleeing Untal but was instead attacked by a group of armed men, who turned out to be relatives of Untal.

“What is so unfortunate is that Moralde was killed despite wearing his police uniform by fellow policemen,” Cabugwang said.

“Bugso daw ng damdamin kasi kamaganak nila yung binaril (They claimed it was instinct because it was a relative who was shot),” he said.

Brigadier General Peexy Tanggawohn, police director in the Bangsamoro region, said the prevalence of violence against police officers “is deeply concerning.”

“It demonstrates a disregard for the principles of law and order,” he said.

Tanggawohn said such acts of disrespect towards authorities should not be tolerated because they not only undermine the safety of policemen but also pose a threat to the safety of the community.

Cabugwang said they were investigating why Moralde was alone when the incident happened.The market where the incident took place is only a few kilometers from the regional headquarters of the Bangsamoro police. –

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