Basketball game turns bloody

COTABATO CITY — A friendly basketball game involving members of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) turned bloody Thursday when players used guns instead of basketball in shooting in North Cotabato.

Chief Inspector Romy Castanares, police chief of Pikit town, said two players were killed and another was injured when what was supposedly a friendly match turned bloody.

Castanares identified the slain players as Ismael Muhamadali, 34 and Mamaila Udlayan, 32, both of Barangay Gokotan, Pikit, North Cotabato. Injured was a certain Ali Jamel.

All of them were members of MILF under Commander Karim Dubua alias “Midnight.”

Citing reports from Barangay Gokotan chair Mustapha A. Aliman, Castanares identified the suspects as Macabuat Tambungalan and Manguda Tambungalan, also MILF members under Commander Masibpal. Macabuat Tambungalan was also injured.

The suspects and the victims were all playing basketball in the village with pot money as bet when the game went “physical.” One of them pulled his Armalite rifle and opened fire. Relatives of the slain MILF members retaliated, triggering a gun battle.

“There was misunderstanding that turned into a heated argument until they took up arms,” Aliman told police investigators.

Castanares said MILF elders have intervened to pacify warring members and stop the fighting. Edwin Fernandez/