WATCH | PNP: Maguindanao mayor, 9 others die at checkpoint 'encounter'
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(UPDATE - 7:15 p.m.) MANILA - The mayor of the town of Datu Saudi Ampatuan in Maguindanao and nine of his men were killed before dawn Friday at a police checkpoint in what Camp Crame described as an anti-drug operation that resulted in a bloody encounter.
According to an official statement released by the Public Information Office of the Philippine National Police at Camp Crame in Quezon City, the alleged encounter happened at around 4:30 a.m. in Barangay Balatukan, Makilala, North Cotabato.
There was no casualty from the police side, led by the Anti-Illegal Drug Group of the Maguindanao police.
The AIDG reported that the operation was in response to tip by a confidential agent that "the group of Mayor Samsudin Otto Dimaukon will transport illegal drugs to Maguindanao and Cotabato area on board a Toyota Land Cruiser sporting license plate UMV 676 and a Toyota Super Grandia with plate no, LGZ 243."
The AIDG, led by Chief Inspector Jovit Culaway reinforced by men from different police units, set up dragnet operation to intercept Dimaukon's convoy.
"While approaching the checkpoint, the group's vehicle stopped and opened fire at the operatives who were about to approach them," the police said.
"After a brief firefight, Mayor Samson Otto Dimaukon and his companions were wounded and brought to Midway Hospital and Makilala Medical Specialist, but were all declared already dead. Aside from Mayor Samsudin Otto Dimaukon, the other suspects killed were identified as Suad Adam Guimad, Mubarak Ali Pasagui, Fajad Dimananal, Nasrudin Alon, Elmer Ali, Aladin Guimad, Fajir Madi, Basir Ismael Mindog and Haimen Anuar," the police report indicated.
Recovered "from the scene" of the encounter were 13 large sachets of suspected shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride), a 12 gauge shotgun, a caliber .357 revolver, three cal. 45 pistols, and an M16 rifle.
"Mayor Samsudin Otto Dimaukon had been publicly named by President Rodrigo Duterte as among many politicians accused of being involved in the illegal drug trade," the police said.
Click and watch Gem Avanceña's video report below: