The Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PRO-BARMM) announced Friday the arrest of another suspect in the Maguindanao massacre.
Brig. Gen. Marni Marcos, PRO-BARMM, said the suspect, Gambayan Kasim alias Lori Arip, was arrested in a law enforcement operation Thursday in Barangay Timbangan, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao.
Marcos said Kasim, 47, was arrested following two weeks of covert operation in Barangay Timbangan, Shariff Aguak town.
Kasim's companion identified as Edsrael Guinomla, who was with the suspect in the house when the police served the arrest, was killed when he allegedly tried to disrupt the law enforcement operation.
Guinomla pulled a caliber .45 pistol and engaged lawmen in a brief shootout, said a police officer who participated in the operation but asked not to be identified.
Police rushed Guinomla to Maguindanao provincial hospital but was declared dead on arrival by the attending physicians. No policeman was hurt during the operation.
Police recovered a .45-caliber pistol and 13 sachets of suspected shabu from Guinomla, while a grenade was found in the pocket of Kasim.
Marcos said Kasim is now at the detention facility of PRO-BARMM while arrangement is being made for his transfer to the custody of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 that issued the warrant for his arrest.
Kasim's arrest came after the Maguindanao police arrested on January 5 another massacre suspect, Faizal Dimaukom, in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town.
With the arrest of the two suspects, there are still 78 massacre suspects who remain at-large.
The massacre perpetrated by Mayor Andal Unsay Ampatuan Jr. and his private army left 58 people dead, including 32 journalists and media workers. It was the deadliest election-related violence in Philippine history and the single deadliest attack on journalists in the world
Source: Philippines News Agency