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Family of slain businessman in alleged CDO shootout seeks justice

After weeks of silence, the family of the slain businessman and politician Abdul Rahim Batawi Adilao,  who was killed a supposed shootout that also led to the death of a police officer on Masterson Avenue in upper Carmen in Cagayan de Oro City last December 6 is seeking justice after reviewing the CCTV footage of the incident.

Butig Vice Mayor Abunail Adilao, son of the victim, said that the family also decided to finally come out in the open after PNP enforcers claimed that the "victims were in the  wrong place at the wrong time," and that incident was a "misencounter."

One of the scenes at the CDO "shootout" showing a supicious civilian with a gun during the HPG operation on December 6, 2018.
One of the scenes at the CDO "shootout" showing a suspicious civilian with a gun during the HPG operation on December 6, 2018 that killed two people including a police officer. --MR

In earlier reports, the police were quoted as claiming there were two other male suspects in the businessman's car during the incident but supposedly escaped.

But later, Regional Highway Patrol Group's Senior Supt. Danilo Buentipo said that only Adilao and one of his wives, Joan Gomez, were in the car flagged down by the highway police.

Buentipo said that the two men seen running were motorela passengers who ran for cover when Adilao and the policemen fired shots at each other.

Police said the shootout took place after SPO1 Serge de Constantine Maceren and SPO2 Lyndie Baltazar, now recovering from a gunshot wound, flagged down Adilao’s car because they found the vehicle’s license plate suspicious.

Maceren was killed in the supposed shootout.

Prior to the shooting incident, Buentipo said the police officers felt something was not right with the car’s plates, “ULI-440,” and so, they followed Adilao’s vehicle up to an area near a convenience store.

But Buentipo said investigators found out later that Adilao’s vehicle, a new Hyundai Accent, was not a “hot car,” except for modified temporary license plates, Adilao’s Land Transportation Office (LTO) documents a certificate of registration and an official receipt —were in order.

After reviewing the CCTV footage of the incident, Vice Mayor Adilao raised questions why his father's car was flagged down two times —the one was at the gasoline station where the victim was seen opening the doors of the car while having a gas-up.

“We were puzzled why the police didn’t apprehend my father if he was carrying a long firearm while he is having a gas up in the first time they approached and talked to him,” Adilao said.

He said why did the police order his father to get off the car at the gas station just to confront him for the second time and then fire shots at the victims.

The younger Adilao disputed the police account saying, "How can my father fire the alleged M-4 baby Armalite if he was inside a small vehicle?"

He stressed that his father knew that the area is under martial law and was aware that carrying firearms was prohibted.

Also, he said that his father owned a Glock 9mm with permit to carry (but was missing) after he received a death threat following his filing of certificate of candidacy for mayor of Butig, Lanao del Sur.

The victims family is asking the intervention of concerned agencies to resolve the utimely violent death of "one of the most influential leader of Butig." —MR/LBG, GMA New