JOLO COPS DISARMED

Po­lice kill 4 sol­diers run­ning af­ter ASG sui­cide bombers

Tempo - - FRONT PAGE - BY AARON RECUENCO, NONOY LAC­SON

All the po­lice­men in­volved in the death of four sol­diers, in­clud­ing two mid­dle-rank­ing of­fi­cers, in an al­leged shootout in Sulu were disarmed and re­stricted in the quar­ters as the Na­tional Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (NBI) pre­pares to start its in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

All the po­lice­men in­volved in the death of four sol­diers, in­clud­ing two mid­dle-rank­ing of­fi­cers, in an al­leged shootout in Sulu were disarmed and re­stricted in the quar­ters as the Na­tional Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (NBI) pre­pares to start its in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Upon the or­der of In­te­rior Sec­re­tary Ed­uardo Año, the po­lice­men in­volved in the killing of the four sol­diers were placed un­der the cus­tody of the Sulu Pro­vin­cial Po­lice di­rec­tor.

The po­lice­men shot and killed Maj. Marvin In­damog, com­mand­ing of­fi­cer of the 9th in­tel­li­gence ser­vice unit (9th ISU) of the mil­i­tary; Capt. Ir­win Managuelod, of the Field Sta­tion (FS), both sta­tioned in Jolo, Sulu; Sgt. Eric Ve­lasco and Cpl. Ab­dal Asula.

Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, spokesman of the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP), said the or­der to re­strict the op­er­a­tives of Jolo Mu­nic­i­pal Po­lice Sta­tion in­volved is part of the im­me­di­ate ad­min­is­tra­tive ac­tion that the na­tional po­lice lead­er­ship has ini­ti­ated amid the con­tro­versy sur­round­ing the death of the four Army troop­ers.

The lo­cal po­lice, in a re­port sub­mit­ted to Camp Crame in Que­zon City, ear­lier stated that they just de­fended them­selves as the four sol­diers tried to fire at them dur­ing a car chase in Jolo on Mon­day a er­noon.

The lo­cal po­lice ear­lier or­dered the four men on board a Sports Util­ity Ve­hi­cle to pro­ceed to the po­lice sta­tion al­though they iden­ti­fied them­selves as mem­bers of the Armed Forces of the Philip­pines (AFP).

The po­lice re­port stated that as they ar­rived in the po­lice sta­tion, the ve­hi­cle sped off which trig­gered a car chase and even­tu­ally a shootout.

MEN ON OF­FI­CIAL MIS­SION

Mil­i­tary com­man­ders in West­ern Min­danao were re­port­edly fu­ri­ous upon learn­ing of the in­ci­dent and de­manded an im­par­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion, say­ing they also re­ceived re­ports con­tra­dict­ing the state­ment of the lo­cal po­lice.

The mil­i­tary com­man­ders con­firmed that the slain four men were sol­diers who were on an of­fi­cial mis­sion.

Armed Forces of the Philip­pines-West­ern Min­danao Com­mand (WestMinCon) chief Lt. Gen. Ciril­ito Sobe­jana said, “We want an im­par­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the in­ci­dent to be con­ducted by the Na­tional Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (NBI).”

Sobe­jana said the sol­diers were killed by po­lice­men with­out rea­sons since the sol­diers were un­armed at that time.

The in­ci­dent took place few me­ters away from the Jolo Po­lice Sta­tion lo­cated at Si­tio Ma­rina, Barangay Walled City, Jolo, Sulu at about 2:30 p.m., Mon­day.

Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFSulu) com­man­der Maj. Gen. Core­lito Vin­luan, in his re­port to Sobe­jana, said that prior to the in­ci­dent, the four sol­diers on board an SUV tech­ni­cal van (gray Mon­tero) con­ducted a sur­veil­lance op­er­a­tion in Barangay Mauboh, Patikul, Sulu tar­get­ing two Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) sui­cide bombers un­der the group of Mundi Sawad­jaan in co­or­di­na­tion with the task force and 11th In­fantry Di­vi­sion (11th ID).

Ac­cord­ing Vin­luan, at about 2:15 p.m., Mon­day, Maj. In­damog posted a mes­sage on the Joint In­tel­li­gent Task Group (JITG) tele­gram that they are pulling out of the tar­get area.

Vin­luan said that ac­cord­ing to one of the ISU per­son­nel on board a mo­tor­cy­cle trail­ing the Mon­tero van, they were flagged down at the PNP check­point mid­way to the Jolo town proper.

Af­ter some dis­cus­sions, they were al­lowed to pass and ac­cord­ingly would meet at the Jolo Po­lice Sta­tion, the wit­ness con­tin­ued.

Upon reach­ing the Jolo town proper, the Mon­tero van parked about 50 me­ters ahead of the Jolo Po­lice Sta­tion.

Then the PNP mo­bile car parked at the back of the Mon­tero van and the cops con­fronted Maj. In­damog who came out of the ve­hi­cle un­armed.

While they were talk­ing, the po­lice­men im­me­di­ately shot the mil­i­tary of­fi­cer with­out provo­ca­tion while the other cops opened fire at the ve­hi­cle were the three other sol­diers were on board.

A er the in­ci­dent, the PNP car im­me­di­ately le the scene and fled to­wards un­known di­rec­tion, the wit­nesses to the in­ci­dent said.

The two of­fi­cers died on the spot along with the two other per­son­nel who served as their se­cu­rity es­corts. The Army of­fi­cers were both grad­u­ate of the Philip­pine Mil­i­tary Academy (PMA).

“The PNP lead­er­ship ex­tends its deep­est con­do­lences to the fam­ily and col­leagues of two Philip­pine Army of­fi­cers and two en­listed men who died in the un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent of a mis­en­counter with PNP per­son­nel in Jolo, Sulu this a er­noon,” said Banac.

“The PNP and AFP of­fi­cials in Sulu have agreed that the Na­tional Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (NBI) Re­gional Of­fice in Zam­boanga City will con­duct and lead the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to en­sure im­par­tial­ity and to elim­i­nate any sus­pi­cion of un­due in­flu­ence,” said Banac.

Banac said the Re­gional Di­rec­tor of the Po­lice Re­gional Of­fice-Bangsamoro Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion, Brig. Gen. Manuel Abu, has been in­structed to ex­tend full ad­min­is­tra­tive and op­er­a­tional sup­port to the NBI.

As of Tues­day, Sulu Po­lice pro­vin­cial di­rec­tor Col. Michael Car­dio­gan Bawayan, Jr. has in­formed Sobe­jana that the five po­lice­men in­volved in the shoot­ing of AFP troop­ers were al­ready in his cus­tody, as or­dered by Po­lice Gen­eral Archie Gam­boa.

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