Cop who loses son in ‘shootout’ in Sultan Kudarat seeks probe

A policeman pleaded for a thorough investigation into the killing of his son and two other companions in what his colleagues insisted was a shootout in the town of Lambayog, Sultan Kudarat on Dec. 2.

Lambayog police alleged the victims — Horton Ansa Jr., Arshad Ansa, and Samanoden Ali — were armed and caught with shabu (meth) at a checkpoint and resisted arrest, engaging in a shootout with authorities that led to their deaths.

Lambayog police said that they were manning a checkpoint in barangay Didtaras when they flagged down three men onboard a motorcycle headed toward the town proper. They said the three disregarded the checkpoint, turned back and sped away as police chased after them, a shootout later ensuing.

Yet the young men’s families and friends, including Horton Ansa Sr., a patrolman assigned in Maguindanao del Sur, doubted the claims of his Sultan Kudarat colleagues. The patrolman said that his son and his companions had clean records and had no history of violence or drug use.

Ansa Sr. said that his 20-year-old son was a first-year criminology student who wanted to become a police officer like him and his grandfather. The cop added that he found it impossible that his son would trade shots with police, given that he has not been trained on how to handle guns.

“He can’t do that, he doesn’t even know how to fire a gun, I didn’t expose them to hold a gun, more so on illegal drugs, our neighborhood will vouch for us,” he said.

The policeman said his son was also religious and a muezzin, someone tasked to wake up their community each morning for the dawn prayer at the mosque.

“We are policemen, our duty is to protect civilians from harm and not kill them,” he said in an interview.

He said that he called on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the leadership of the Philippine National Police to ensure that justice will be served.