THE nine policemen involved in a shooting incident that killed four soldiers in Jolo, Sulu have been transferred to Camp Crame in Quezon City, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Archie Gamboa said on Wednesday, July 8, 2020.
Gamboa said this ensures that the policemen are available to cooperate with the ongoing investigation being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
He said the cops were escorted by Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Police Director Manuel Abu. They arrived in Manila on Tuesday morning and were immediately turned over to the Camp Crame Headquarters Support Service, where they were placed under restrictive custody.
They are Senior Master Sergeant Abdelzhimar H. Padjiri, Master Sergeant Hanie U. Baddiri, Staff Sergeant Iskandar I. Susulan, Staff Sergeant Ernisar P. Sappal, Corporal Sulki M. Andaki and Patrolman Moh Nur E. Pasani who were all members of the Jolo Municipal Police Station Alert Team; and Staff Sergeant Almudzrin M. Hadjaruddin, Patrolmen Alkajal J. Mandangan, and Rajiv G. Putalan who were assigned at the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU) of Sulu.
The shooting incident that resulted in the killing of four Army officers happened on the afternoon of June 29.
The police initially tagged it as a “misencounter” between the two groups but PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac said investigators on the ground ruled out such theory.
Closed circuit television (CCTV) footage showed that the soldiers did not fire a single shot against the police.
The incident has caused tension and even “anger” especially on the part of the military.
President Rodrigo Duterte flew to Zamboanga City to appease the troops and assured that those found liable for the killing of the soldiers would be punished.
Gamboa earlier said Duterte met with the nine policemen in Sulu last Friday. He and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Felimon Santos Jr., were also there.
“Sa PNP naman in-emphasize niya lang na whatever will be the results of the NBI then managot ang dapat managot. Yun ang pinaka ultimate message niya doon sa PNP side. Sa AFP naman over emphasize din na dapat kalma lang kayo,” he said.
“So ito naman ‘yung gist ng pagbisita niya and of course sinabi niya na I have been doing everythinng, I have doubled your salary, I gave you everything that you need pero sabi niya in the end may mga hindi talaga maiwasan na pangyayaring ganun but he emphasized that there should be accountability,” he added.
Meanwhile, Gamboa said he also assured his men of his “protection and guidance” while he encouraged them to fully cooperate with the NBI’s probe.
“So sinabi ko lang nandito ako ama niyo ako. Of course I give you my protection to some extent pero we should participate and we should cooperate fully with the NBI kasi kung ang ginawa niyo naman tama then wala kayong worry pero siyempre kapag mali then mananagot talaga kayo,” he said.
“Sinabi ko naman sa kanila they will be taken cared of here in camp crame and they have nothing to worry. Of course siyempre hindi siguro sila sanay kasi mga non-commissioned offcers. May isa pa daw na umiyak na aalis siya doon. Probably human instinct lang ng father na mahiwalay sa pamilya niya and of course hindi sila ganun kasi because they are accused of something very serious and I think alam nila kung gaano ka serious ‘yung accusations sa kanila and I think they understand it,” he added.
The PNP and the AFP have created a board of inquiry led by their respective inspector generals for the conduct of investigation primarily to determine operational lapses and how they can improve their operational procedures.
The NBI, on the other hand, will determine the criminal and administrative charges against the nine policemen. (SunStar Philippines)