Suspected gunmen of slain soldier in Basilan surrender to authorities

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 7) – Four alleged suspects in the killing of Private First Class Mark Anthony Monte and three paramilitary members in Tipo-Tipo, Basilan last week surrendered to authorities on Sunday afternoon.

They were identified as Karim Manisan, 31 years old; Saham Mohammad, 45 years old; Lito Manisan, 45 years old; and Ayatula Mohammad, 40 years old.

The four individuals are all residents of Barangay Bohe Lebbung in Tipo-Tipo town in Basilan province.

The four suspected gunmen turned themselves in to the Barangay Chairman of Bohe Lebbung. Then, they were turned over to the Philippine National Police (PNP) 4th Special Forces Battalion headquarters in Barangay Cabunbata also in Tipo-Tipo for investigation and custody.

The alleged suspects also surrendered four high-powered firearms which include two M16A1 rifle, one M14 US rifle, and one M1 US carbine with several magazines and ammunitions.

The four men said they are aware of the charges filed against them and they will face the consequences of their action.

The combined forces from the 18th Infantry Battalion, 4th Special Forces Battalion, and the local PNP forces are still pursuing the other suspected gunmen who are still at large.

Last July 4, Monte and three paramilitary members were killed in a shooting incident. Initial investigation showed the motive behind the shooting appeared to be a “personal grudge/long standing feud” between the opposing sides.

Other casualties in the incident were Samy Akay and Alibasa Antaas from the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary, and Hakim Marani, a civilian member of the unit.

The incident happened after President Rodrigo Duterte delivered a speech before the soldiers in Zamboanga City last July 3 to pacify both the military and police following the killing of four soldiers by policemen in Sulu.

Jolo policemen fired at four Army intelligence personnel, including two officers, last June 29. Police officials called it a shooting instead of self-defense based on reports that showed the soldiers did not fire at the policemen.