THE leader in the ambush-killing of seven Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agents in Barangay Malna, Kapai, Lanao Del Sur last October 2018 was killed in an encounter with agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
.NBI OIC-Director Eric Distor identified the subject as William Gandawali Comayog, the incumbent barangay chairman of Inudaran, Tagoloan II, and also a former municipal mayor of Tagoloan II, Lanao Del Sur.
At around 3 p.m. on April 13, 2022, joint operatives of the NBI-Iligan District Office (NBI-ILDO) led by Atty. Abdul Jamal Dimaporo, and government forces from the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit/Special Operations Group of the Lanao del Sur Provincial Police Office (LDSPPO) and Special Action Force (SAF) went to Pilintangan, Wao, Lanao Del Sur to serve the Warrant of Arrest against Comayog.
As government forces were approaching the house of Comayog, the team was fired upon and immediately an hour-long armed encounter ensued that resulted in the death of Comayog, while Patrolman Rasul Asilum was wounded in the firefight.
The suspect was rushed to Wao District Hospital but was declared dead on arrival, while Patrolman Asilum was provided medical treatment and was later declared out of danger.
The team was also able to recover a cache of high-powered firearms and ammunitions during the operation.
Comayog has an Outstanding Warrant of Arrest for Violation of Section 28 (a) of R.A. 10591 issued by the RTC Branch 10 of Marawi City on February 2019.
The suspect was also the leader of the Gandawali Group, which was involved in illegal drug activities and seen as the brains behind the ambush-killing of the seven PDEA agents in 2018.
He is also the brother of Macapagal Comayog, who was on the government’s drug watch list, and was killed during a buy-bust operation in Marawi City.
A follow-up operation was ordered by Distor to apprehend Comayog’s cohorts.