From the Philippine News Agency (May 11): 3 suspected drug syndicate members killed in Maguindanao clash
Three alleged members of a drug syndicate were killed in a firefight with government troops in Pandag town, Maguindanao before dawn Thursday, a military official said.
Lt. Colonel Harold Cabunoc, 33rd Infantry Battalion (IB) commander, said that five assorted high powered firearms were also recovered from the clash site in Sitio Langat, Barangay Kabuling.
Elements of the 33rd IB accompanied police officers from Datu Paglas town in serving a search warrant against a certain “Commander Grasscutter,” a well-known alleged big time drug pusher operating in Maguidnanao, Cabunoc said.
As government forces were approaching the suspect's residence, gunmen opened fire on them, triggering an hour-long firefight.
“They apparently ran out of bullets so they fled toward the marshland, leaving three of their (dead) comrades,” Cabunoc said.
The three slain unidentified gunmen were brought to the town hall waiting for claimants.
Cabunoc said Commander Grasscutter, whose real name was not made available as of posting time, allegedly supplies methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu to the towns of Pandag, Mangudadatu, Buluan and Datu Paglas in Maguindanao and the towns of Tulunan and Mlang in North Cotabato.
“There’s no letup in our operation against illegal drugs,” Cabunoc said.