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P200K bounty up for suspects in Maguindanao highway killings

October 08, 2019 - Tuesday 6:10 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image Photo by Ellie Balangue

COTABATO CITY -- The local government of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao offered a P200,000-reward for any information that could lead to the identification and arrest of suspects behind the separate killings of a police officer and a cassava firm worker in the town over the weekend.

Maj. Julhamin Asdani, Sultan Kudarat town police chief, said Tuesday that Mayor Shameen Mastura and the town council have agreed to raise the bounty to speed up the resolution of the series of murders along the Sultan Kudarat highway.

On Sunday, Pat. Asrhap Mato of the Police Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) was shot dead by a motorcycle riding-in-tandem at 1 p.m. along the highway in Barangay Gang.

The 30-year-old off-duty police officer, who was a resident of Datu Odin Sinsuat town in the same province, died on the spot.

On Saturday, gunmen on board a pickup truck also gunned down Rocelito Balboa, 50, chief mechanic of Sultan Kudarat-based Lamsan Trading Corporation, along Barangay Pigcalagan of the town around 6 a.m.

Asdani said that of the total bounty, P100,000 is intended for the capture of the mastermind and cohorts behind Mato’s murder, while the remaining P100,000 will be for informants that could lead to the arrest of the suspects in Balboa’s ambush-slay.

“I hope the reward would fast-track the resolution of the twin crimes,” Asdani said.

Initial investigation showed that the killing of Mato could be due to a feud with another family while the murder of Balboa stemmed from a work-related issue. PNA