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Suspect in ambush of town police chief in Maguindanao del Sur arrested

John Unson - Philstar.com
Suspect in ambush of town police chief in Maguindanao del Sur arrested
Kamid Kambal Asam, one of ten suspects in the ambush of a municipal police chief in Maguindanao del Sur province and an escort in 2022, is now detained.
Photo courtesy of Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY — Policemen on Wednesday arrested in a hospital in Midsayap, Cotabato one of the ten suspects in the fatal ambush in August 2022 of a municipal police chief and his escort in Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur.

Brig. Gen. Prexy Tanggawohn, director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, confirmed to reporters on Thursday the arrest by PRO-BAR personnel and agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of Kamid Kambal Asam. He is wanted for 13 high-profile cases pending in different courts, in a hospital in the town proper of Midsayap in Cotabato province in Region 12.

The joint operation of different PRO-BAR units and the CIDG-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region under Police Lt. Col. Ariel Huesca that resulted in Asam’s arrest was premised on reports by confidential informants aware of his confinement in the Aniceto Pesante Memorial hospital in Midsayap where he underwent foot amputation due to diabetes complications.

Witnesses have tagged Asam as one of the ten heavily armed men behind the Aug. 29, 2022 ambush of Lt. Reynaldo Samson, then chief of the Ampatuan Municipal Police Station, and his escort, Corporal Salipudin Endab, while on their way, along with six other policemen, to Barangay Kapinpilan in the municipality to arrest a wanted person hiding somewhere in the area.

Samson and Endab both died in the attack that left four other members of the Ampatuan municipal police wounded.

The leader of the group behind the ambush, Abdulkarem Lumbatan Hashim, alias Boy Jacket, and his aide, Makmud Dilna Lumbatan, were both killed in a brief shootout with policemen and intelligence agents of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division in a public terminal in Tacurong City on Feb. 28, 2023.

The slain Hashim and Lumbatan and the now detained Asam are known members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters that has a reputation for bombing business establishments and passenger vehicles if owners refuse to shell out “protection money” and for providing sanctuary to illegal drug dealers in exchange for monetary support. 

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