AFP, PNP form Board of Inquiry to revise operational procedures after Jolo shooting

Marje Pelayo   •   July 6, 2020   •   321

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) created a Board of Inquiry that will revise their respective operational procedures following the fatal shooting in Jolo, Sulu. 

According to PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa, one of their main focus will be the cooperation and expansion of their interoperability including the various tactical approaches depending on the security situation in the shooting area.

“To determine operational lapses and how we can improve our operational procedures both the AFP and the PNP,“ the PNP Chief.

Meanwhile, all nine cops involved in the incident were supposed to go to Camp Crame but the trip was deferred. 

One of them contracted coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and is now undergoing quarantine in isolation but still has to take the swab test for confirmation. 

But Gamboa assured that they will be sent to the headquarters anytime this week by Police Regional Office – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO-BAR) Director PBGen. Manuel Abu.

“Sinabi ko lang sa kanila na: ‘You will go to Crame para ma-diffuse iyong tension and then expect kung ano ang sasabihin ng NBI, hindi ako makikialam.’ So kung meron liable sa inyo, so be it,” Gamboa said. 

[I told them: ‘You will go to Crame to diffuse the tension and expect that whatever the NBI says, I will not intervene.’ If anyone is liable, then so be it.]

“So for the meantime, you will be under the custody ng Philippine National Police” he added.

Gamboa said the President emphatically ordered the PNP to make sure those responsible in the incident will be penalized while the Chief Executive toned down when it came with the Philippine Army. 

Alam nya na may mga sintimiyento lalo na [He knows that there are sentiments especially] on the part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Gamboa said. 

“Sabi pa nga nya, kayo kung ano ang gusto nyong gawin ay pwede nyong gawin but you still have to ponder whether it will do good to the public o to the community [He even said, you just do whatever you want but you still have to ponder whether it will do good to the public or to the community],” he concluded. —MNP (with inputs from Lea Ylagan)

NBI recommends filing of raps vs Jolo cops involved in killing of soldiers

Robie de Guzman   •   July 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Tuesday recommended to the Department of Justice (DOJ) the filing of complaints against police officers involved in the killing of four soldiers in Jolo, Sulu in late June.

In its report to the DOJ, the NBI recommended the filing of four counts of murder and planting of evidence against the following cops:

  • PSMS Abdelzhimar Padjiri
  • Police Master Sergeant Hanie Baddiri
  • P/Staff Sergeant Iskandar Susulan
  • PSSg Erniskar Sappal
  • PCorporal Sulki Andaki
  • Patrolman Mohammad Nur Pasani
  • PSSg Almudzrin Hadjaruddin
  • Patrolman Alkajal Mandangan
  • Patrolman Rajiv Putalan

The NBI also recommended the filing of neglect of duty charges against three police officials:

  • Sulu Provincial Police director P/Colonel Michael Bayawan Jr.
  • Jolo Municipal Police Station chief P/Major Water Annayo
  • Sulu Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit chief P/Captain Ariel Corcino

The shooting incident happened on June 29. Four soldiers were said to be tailing alleged suicide bombers when they were supposedly accosted by nine cops.

Despite identifying themselves as members of the military, they were instructed by the policemen to proceed to the police station for the verification of their identities.

Police spot report stated that the shooting incident transpired when the soldiers allegedly tried to escape and pointed their weapons at the police officers, which allegedly prompted the cops to open fire.

The NBI was tasked to investigate the incident as both agreed by the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The DOJ said the complaints will be elevated to the court once it has found a probable cause. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Soldiers who rushed to Jolo shooting site may be charged with obstruction of justice — PBGen. Abu

Marje Pelayo   •   July 2, 2020

CCTV footage of the soldiers who responded to the site where four military personnel were shot by police

MANILA, Philippines — A Facebook post of former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya sparked anger among netizens against alleged members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the video. 

The former military chief himself criticized what he called as mishandling of the crime scene by alleged cops in the video. 

The post was shared around 10,000 times and has drawn nearly 2,000 comments against the PNP.

READ: Misencounter between soldiers and police in Jolo kills 4

But according to the Police Regional Office in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO-BAR) Director PBGen. Manuel Abu, the men in the video were actually Army personnel in civilian clothes who first responded to the shooting site.

He said, even the person who entered the vehicle and moved the bodies of the victims was a soldier. 

Iyon ang masaklap kasi nagresponde ang mga sundalo, kinuha nila ang mga laman, kaya pati mga baril pinagkukuha nila,” Abu explained. 

(That’s the problem because the soldiers responded to the scene, moved the bodies, and took the victims’ firearms.)

Hindi na hinintay iyong SOCO. Ibig sabihin baka wala silang alam o baka may itinatago,” he added.

(They did not wait for the SOCO [Scene of the Crime Operatives]. Either they were ignorant of the procedures or they were hiding something.)

The Philippine Army admitted that the men in the video were indeed soldiers and according to Army Spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala, the one who moved a body and placed a pillow behind its head was actually the brother of the victim, Cpl. Abdal Asula.

They checked ang pulse kung may buhay and then secured the vehicle. So from take down team to rescue to recovery at makikita mo rin sa video na parang bumubukas ang pinto. Iyong bumubukas na pinto iyon ay brother ng isa naming operative,” Zagala explained.

(They checked the pulse if there was sign of life and then they secured the vehicle. So from take down to rescue to recovery, you will see in the video that someone was opening the door. That person is the brother of one of our operatives.)

Kasi alam niya na ang brother niya ay iyong driver. So out of his instinct, sinu-sure niya ang gamit ng brother niya,” he added.

(Because he knew that his brother was the driver. So out of instinct, he was securing his brother’s belongings.)

READ: PNP admits no misencounter in Jolo incident

But Abu said the PNP might file cases against the soldiers for intruding into the shooting site.

Baka pakasuhan ko pa nga sila ng obstruction of justice kasi pagka-ganyan na may namatay na hindi dapat guluhin ang encounter site. Ginulo nila,” the official said.

(I might even file charges against them for obstruction of justice considering that there were fatalities. The encounter site shouldn’t be touched. They messed it up.)

Based on the PNP’s version, the nine police suspects were still in the area when the responding soldiers arrived.

However, they chose to keep distance in fear of another gunfight. 

Nine lang ang mga pulis na involved. They were in uniform. Nang dumating iyang mga nagresponde na Army na mga nakasibilyan, natakot ang mga pulis. Pumwesto sa gilid gilid kasi galit na galit ang mga Army. Baka magkabarilan ulit,” Abu noted.

(Only nine policemen were involved. They were in uniform. When the responding Army team in civilian clothes arrived, the policemen became anxious. They positioned themselves at the sides as the soldiers were very furious. They feared starting another gunfight.)

But AFP Western Mindanao Command Spokesperson Major Arvin Encinas has a different version of what happened, saying the police suspects fled the scene before the responding soldiers arrived. 

“Right after nila binaril yung tropa, tumakas naman yung mga pulis na yun, umalis supposedly kung talagang hinabol nila eh di kinordon nila yung area,” Encinas said.

(Right after they gunned down our troops, they fled. Supposedly, if the police were indeed chasing the soldiers, they should have cordoned the area.)

Pero right after na binaril nila, tumakas sila sa scene. Umalis,” he added.

(But right after they shot the soldiers, they fled from the scene. They escaped.)

READ: Jolo police chief sacked over fatal shooting of soldiers

The investigation on the incident is ongoing but Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año already has a copy of the initial result of the investigation being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). MNP (with details from Lea Ylagan) 

PNP admits ‘no misencounter’ in Jolo incident

Marje Pelayo   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Army Commanding General Gilbert Gapay cries murder over the death of four military personnel in conflict with members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Jolo, Sulu on Monday (June 29). 

“It was murder. There was no misencounter dahil hindi naman pumutok iyong tropa namin. Andon ang mga baril nila sa baba. [There was no misencounter because our troops did not pull a trigger. Their firearms were down.] It was a rubout!” he stressed. 

The PNP, for its part, did not deny that the incident was not a misencounter but instead, was a shooting incident. 

Nais din natin bigyang linaw ang naunang pahayag na umano ay merong misencounter. Ayon sa ating pagaanalisa ng report na unang nailabas at officially released spot report ay nakita natin na wala namang paggamit or pagpapaputok ng baril mula sa mga namatay na sundalo,” noted PNP Spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac.

[We want to clarify earlier reports of an alleged misencounter. After analyzing the officially released as a spot report, we concluded that the fallen soldiers did not exchange gunshots.]

“Ang nakalagay lamang doon ay umamba kaya yaon ang naging response ng ating Jolo Municipal Personnel. Batay sa pag-aaral na iyan makikita natin na hindi na ito misencounter ito ay isang shooting Incident,” he added.

[What was written there was that the soldiers positioned to shoot thus the response of out Jolo Municipal Police personnel. Based on our analysis, it was no longer a misencounter but a shooting incident.]

The PNP Spokesperson, however, refused to comment further on Gapay’s claim of a rubout.

Iginagalang natin ang mga pahayag ng ating mga pinuno at mga kasama sa Philippine Army at sa Armed Forces of the Philippines subalit ipinauubaya na natin ito sa NBI na syang maglalabas kung ano talaga ang tunay na nangyari,” Banac said. 

[We respect the statements of our officers and comrades in the Philippine Army and the Armed Forces of the Philippines but we leave it to the NBI to release the report as to what really happened.]

“Kung ano ang mga naging sequence of events at kung ano ang magiging conclusion at kung ano man ito ay handa itong suportahan ng Philippine National Police,” he assured.

[The Philippine National Police is ready to support whatever the sequence of events and conclusions may arise from it.]

The PNP expressed its sincere apology to its comrades in the military for the death of the four soldiers while it assured that those responsible in the incident will be penalized accordingly. 

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he does not want to speculate as to what really transpired in the encounter as he is not buying the claims of rubout and murder against the military personnel. 

He said the AFP and the PNP have conflicting statements regarding the events that transpired in the scene thus he prefered to wait for the result of the NBI’s investigation on the incident. 

“It’s not good to speculate. The accounts from both sides are conflicting. Let’s wait for the NBI investigation,” Lorenzana said. 

Nonetheless, he said he fully understood Gen Gapay’s burst of emotions because the victims were among his men in the AFP.

“He is just repeating the reports he got from our people on the ground. Of course, the event happened just the other day and emotions are high among the Army troops. The army leadership in Sulu are trying hard to calm their people while inquiry is going on,” Lorenzana said. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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