Criminal gang leader in Lanao Sur neutralized

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur – A criminal gang leader in Lanao del Sur has been neutralized by joint law enforcement operatives in the province, police said.

In a statement, Police Colonel Christopher W. Panapan, provincial director of Lanao del Sur Police Provincial Office said, “Elements from PDEU/PSOG of LDSPPO; 1st PMFC, LDSPPO, 84th SAC, RDB, SAF and NBI ILDO in coordination with Wao Municipal Police Station served the Warrant of Arrest for Violation of RA10591 against William Comayog Gandawali in Purok 5, Brgy. Pilintangan, Wao, Lanao del Sur but they were fired upon by the suspect while approaching his residence using an M79 grenade launcher and M16 rifle which ensued an armed confrontation resulting to wounding of the suspect and one personnel from the government side.”

The wounded persons were brought to Wao District Hospital, but Gandawali was declared dead on arrival by attending physician.

Panapan said Gandawali is incumbent barangay chairman of Brgy. Inudaran, Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte and a former municipal mayor and vice-mayor of Tagoloan II, Lanao del Norte.

The police provincial chief said Gandawali Criminal Gang has been operating in Lanao del Sur province. “His group is involved in illegal drug activities and responsible to the ambush and killing of PDEA agents sometimes in October 2018 at Brgy. Malna, Kapai, Lanao del Sur,” he added.

The operating team were able to recover at the scene one (1) M79 grenade launcher; one (1) M16A1 caliber 5,56mm Elisco rifle bearing serial number KP224369, two (2) bandoliers, several magazines and ammunitions, two-way radio, one (1) cellphone, and other pieces of evidence.

Cadaver of Gandawali was claimed by his immediate relative for burial in accordance with the tenets of Islam. Recovered pieces of evidence were brought to Wao MPS for proper disposition.      

Panapan said, “The long arm of the law could not be evaded by lawless elements, this successful Law Enforcement Operation shows that our hardline campaign against all forms of criminality gained momentum through collaborative effort between the security forces and the community.” (PR)

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