COTABATO CITY (John Unson, Sept. 29, 2023) — Policemen killed for resisting arrest a suspect in the rape and murder of a three-year-old girl in a secluded barangay in Senator Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat on Thursday.
Brig. Gen. Jimili Macaraeg, director of the Police Regional Office-12, said Friday personnel of the Senator Ninoy Aquino Municipal Police Station first tried to persuade Rolando Baylon Sr., whom they cornered in Barangay Kuden, but were forced to neutralize him instead when he pulled out a pistol and opened fire.
The attempt to arrest Baylon peacefully that went awry was premised on reports by residents of Barangay Kuden, a secluded area in Senator Ninoy Aquino, about his having sexually molested and killed the three-year-old Mercy Manguda.
The mother of the slain child, Leah, had told police investigators that Baylon snatched her daughter and raped her in a secluded area in Barangay Kuden.
Two farmers gathering firewood near the crime scene had confirmed having seen the suspect hit the girl with a large stone in the head repeatedly before he ran away.
Barangay officials in Kuden had told reporters that Baylon had been jailed a number of times early on for criminal offenses.
He was also a suspect in the murder of a farmer in another barangay in Senator Niñoy Aquino about five years ago, according to the sources. (JF Unson, in Cotabato City)