Ex-barangay official turned gang leader killed in clash with security forces in Maguindanao

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 14) -  A former barangay chairman linked to a notorious criminal group was killed in a clash with police and soldiers in Datu Salibo, Maguindanao on Wednesday.

The slain suspect was identified as Marcos Manunggal, who is the subject of a search warrant for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, according to the Philippine National Police.

Police said Manunggal opened fire at government forces who were about to serve the warrants against him and his cohorts.

Weapons and ammunition were recovered from Manunggal's home, police added.

In a statement, PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas said Manunggal's group is engaged in gunrunning, gun-for-hire and illegal drug activities.

"They are extorting money from different establishments and some habal-habal drivers in Datu Salibo, Maguindanao," Sinas added.

Authorities said Manunggal's group operates in the towns of Datu Salibo, Sharif Aguak, and Mamasapano in Maguindanao, and in Midsayap, North Cotabato.

Four members of the group identified as Mike Guipal Baadrudin, Nadia Kero, Arbaiya Bangkong Mustapha, and Ali Ebrihim Ebrahim, were also arrested on Wednesday.

But two other suspects, Datumanot Manunggal and Jaybee Mastura, were able to escape.

The PNP said Mastura was involved in various bombing activities in North and South Cotabato and Saranggani province.