THE Jolo Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Sulu has ordered the arrest of nine dismissed policemen who were charged with the killing of four soldiers.
Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Prosecutor General spokesperson Honey Delgado said the arrest warrant issued on Thursday, January 14, 2021, nearly two weeks after the accused were released from police custody.
Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Brigadier General Ildebrandi Usana said Friday, January 15, 2021, that they have received the arrest order. He urged the nine accused to surrender.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which issued an appeal to the court after the accused were released from police custody, welcomed the development.
“Albeit issued belatedly, AFP is glad RTC issued warrant for the arrest of 9 police suspects in murder of 4 Army men. Detention is without bail, indicating that evidence of guilt is strong,” AFP spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo said.
He also called on the nine accused to surrender.
“We urge them: surrender - else, AFP and other government agencies will deliver them to court for trial,” he added.
In a press conference in Camp Crame, Usana said they were instructed to monitor the former officers after their release in anticipation of the issuance of the arrest warrant.
“Mas maganda talaga, immediately after the issuance of the warrant of arrest, present na sa ating mga authorities para hindi naman mahirapan ang ating mga authorities to run after them,” he said.
Those ordered arrested are Abdelzhimar H. Padjiri, Hanie U. Baddiri, Iskandar I. Susulan, Ernisar P. Sappal, Sulki M. Andaki, Mohammad Nur E. Pasani, Almudzrin M. Hadjaruddin, Alkajal J. Mandangan and Rajiv G. Putalan.
Hadjaruddin, Mandangan and Putalan are former members of the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU) of Sulu. The rest used to be assigned to the Jolo Municipal Police Station; Hadjaruddin, Mandangan They were accused of killing Major Marvin Indammog, Captain Irwin Managuelod, Sergeant Jaime Velasco and Corporal Abdal Asula at a checkpoint in Jolo in Sulu on June 29, 2020.
The incident sparked tension between the military and the police, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to visit the troops amid the pandemic in a bid to prevent hostilities.
Delgado said the court will also hear the motion for the issuance of a hold departure order against the accused to prevent them from leaving the country. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo / SunStar Philippines)