Guns, grenade seized in Maguindanao VM Montawal’s compound

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Law enforcers on Thursday raided the compound of a Maguindanao political family and found four unlicensed guns and a hand grenade, police said.

“No illegal drugs were found from the homes of Vice Mayor Ottoh Montawal, his son Mayor Vicman Montawal of Datu Montawal municipality, and another relative,” Chief Insp. Erwin Tabora, the town police chief, said.

Both father and son, and the vice mayor’s brother, Andy, all living in separate houses inside a compound, were the subjects of search warrants issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 16 Judge Alandrex Betoya for illegal possession of firearms and illegal drugs.

Tabora, however, said the three managed to escape, using a secret passageway toward the back portion of the compound en route to a river, even before policemen from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao could enter their home in Barangay Talapas.

“Two of the escorts of (the) Montawals, identified as Mentak Alon and his brother Belag, were killed during a shootout after they opened fire on law enforcers at 4 a.m.,” Tabora said.

Among those recovered were four M16 Armalite rifles and a fragmentation grenade.

Tabora said the Montawals, who remain at large, are the subject of a police manhunt.

“I urge them to surrender and face the charges in the proper forum than stay wanted by the law,” he said in the vernacular.

The Montawals were on President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of narco-politicians. They have repeatedly denied involvement in illegal drugs. (PNA)