Google map of M’lang, North Cotabato.

M'LANG, North Cotabato – Authorities arrested two suspects who allegedly raped and killed a 15-year-old girl in Barangay Lepaga here, a police official said Wednesday.

Lt. Col Realan Mamon, municipal police chief, identified the perpetrators as farmers Rogie Articonas Magallanes, 43, of Barangay Lepaga; and Nilo Belarmente Fortunato, 42, of the adjacent village of Bagontapay.

The victim, a Grade 9 student, is a resident of Barangay Gaunan, which borders the villages where the suspects live.

"Based on the initial investigation, the victim went out to gather vegetables some 200 meters away from their residence around 5 p.m. Monday and was not able to return home," Mamon said in an interview.

He said the victim was found dead by residents of Barangay Lepaga at 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Witnesses said before the discovery of the victim's body, they saw two persons near the crime scene giving way to a pursuit operation against the suspects who were positively identified by the same witnesses.

"With the help of the barangay leaders, both were arrested in their respective villages," Mamon said.

The victim was buried immediately according to Muslim rites.

The suspects are detained at the police custodial facility here while charges are being readied against them. (PNA)