DRUG PERSONALITIES. A police investigator accounts for the firearms and suspected shabu recovered from two suspected drug couriers in Kabacan, North Cotabato on Thursday night (Nov. 17, 2022). The motorcycle-riding suspects fired at policemen at a checkpoint, which led to a brief chase and shootout in the Poblacion area of the town. (Photos courtesy of Kool FM Kabacan)

KABACAN, North Cotabato – Two armed drug suspects were killed in a shootout with cops here while trying to elude arrest, an official said Friday.

Lt. Col. Irish Hezron F. Parangan, municipal police chief, identified the slain suspects as Johari Kasim Adtag, 25, and Boy Macacua, 32, both of Barangay Kidama in Matalam town.

Parangan said the suspects were riding a motorcycle approaching a police checkpoint along Barangay Osias here at 9:30 p.m. Thursday when they stopped and hurriedly turned around while firing at the police officers.

“Our police officers were fired upon first by the fleeing suspects, prompting them to give chase while firing back,” he said.

The suspects were neutralized minutes later along Sunrise Street in Barangay Poblacion after refusing to surrender, police said.

Recovered from the suspects were two .45-caliber pistols and several heat-sealed sachets of suspected shabu.

Parangan said the two are also suspected to be behind the series of stick-ups in the town recently.

“They sell drugs and also engage in hold-up if they find a chance in certain business establishments,” he said.

This month alone, at least six stick-up incidents were reported in Internet cafés and small grocery stores here, prompting the local police to intensify checkpoints at night. (PNA)