PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Archie Gamboa on Friday, August 28, 2020, dismissed calls to revamp the Jolo Municipal Police Station and instead sent additional men to augment the local force.
He said there are not enough grounds to replace all the personnel in the Jolo station following the August 24 twin explosions that killed 15 people and wounded 74 others.
“Unless there is sufficient evidence establishing criminal involvement or administrative lapses leading to the attack, the PNP maintains full confidence in our ground personnel,” Gamboa said.
He ordered the augmentation of police forces in Sulu and a deeper investigation into the August 24 attack.
He also mobilized Philippine Bomb Data Center (PBDC) and PNP Crime Laboratory for technical support to the ongoing investigation.
One of the units Gamboa tapped for additional forces in the province is the elite Special Action Force (SAF).
Gamboa said the presence of more SAF troopers in Sulu is vital to the operations to hunt down the Abu Sayyaf Group.
Gamboa issued the statement amid calls by lawmakers like Senators Franklin Drilon and Risa Hontiveros to replace all the policemen in the Jolo station.
Hontiveros said this is to pave way for an impartial investigation into the killing of the four army intelligence officers at a police checkpoint on June 29 and on the August 24 twin suicide bombings.
Military officials earlier said the intelligence officers killed on June 29 were on a mission to hunt down two female suicide bombers, identified as the widows of Norman Lasuca and Abu Talha or Talha Jumsah.
Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gilbert Gapay said earlier that the two women, identified as Nanah and Inda Nay, carried out the August 24 attacks. (SunStar Philippines)