JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday disclosed that the families of the four Army officers killed during an alleged misencounter with policemen in Jolo, Sulu have formally filed a complaint before the National Bureau of Investigation.
"Yes, the soldiers’ families have executed affidavits of complaints before the NBI against the police officers involved. The NBI has gathered valuable evidence and will submit an initial report soon," Guevarra said.
The Justice secretary however did not provide other details as this might preempt the ongoing investigation.
The NBI has been conducting an independent probe into the fatal shooting of Army officers by policemen in Jolo, Sulu after the leaderships of the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines gave conflicting versions of the incident.
The fatalities were identified in a police report from the Jolo municipal police station as Maj.Arvin Indamog, commanding officer of the Army’s 9th Intelligence Service Unit (9ISU), Capt. Irwin Managuelod, field station commander, and intelligence operatives Sgt. Eric Velasco and Cpl. Abdal Asula.
Reports from the Sulu Provincial Police Office said the policemen involved claimed self-defense, after the soldiers supposedly pointed their firearms at the police.
The report added that the incident occurred when the soldiers allegedly tried to flee the police station after they were brought in for questioning.
The Army, however, disputed the claims, calling the initial police report as “fabricated” and “misleading.”
Army Spokesman Col. Ramon Zagala Jr. maintained that the troops could not have engaged the policemen in a firefight as they had "properly coordinated and identified themselves" as soldiers.
Also, Arevalo denied the troops tried to leave the police station.