PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Monday expressed hope the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) would maintain a good working relationship despite the recent shooting incident between cops and soldiers in Jolo, Sulu.
During his visit to Camp General Teodulfo Bautista in Jolo, Sulu, Duterte advised the AFP to not hold a grudge against the PNP despite the police officers’ fatal shooting of four military intelligence officers.
Duterte provided the advice in a taped speech aired Tuesday morning on state-run PTV-4 as he offered condolences to members of the AFP following the deaths of the four soldiers.
“We have the deaths of your fellow soldiers where certain members of the Philippine National Police were involved. As your Commander-in-Chief, I grieve for our fallen men,” he said. “It is my hope that this isolated incident will not spark any animosity between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PNP.”
Killed in the June 29 shooting incident between personnel of AFP and PNP in Jolo, Sulu were Maj. Marvin Indammog, Capt. Irwin Managuelod, Sgt. Jaime Velasco and Cpl. Abdal Asula.
The nine police officers involved in the killing of the four members of the Army intelligence unit were relieved of their posts and placed under the custody of the provincial police headquarters in Jolo.
They are S/Sgt. Almudzrin Hadjaruddin, Pat. Alkajal Mandangan, Pat. Rajiv Patulan, Senior M/ Sgt. Abdelzhimar Padjiri, M/Sgt. Hanie U Baddiri, S/Sgt. Iskandar Susulan, S/Sgt. Ernisar Sappal, Cpl. Sulki Andaki and Pat. Mohammad Nur Pasani.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has already been directed to uncover the truth behind the shooting incident involving cops and soldiers.
Duterte, in his latest remarks, assured the military that the NBI would conduct an “immediate and impartial” probe into the incident.
“I already tasked the National Bureau of Investigation to do justice by conducting an immediate and impartial investigation to ferret out the truth,” he said.
Duterte guaranteed that truth will come out, “be it in favor of the police or the military.”
“Ang hinihingi ko lang, ang totoong nangyari (All I ask is to know the truth). So you can rest assured that justice will be done to the family and the troops here in Jolo),” Duterte said.
Duterte, in his latest speech, also renewed his vow to provide continued assistance to soldiers.
He made the pledge, as he thanked the military for their bravery and “undying” service to maintain peace and order in the country amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Let me assure you that as you fight to protect our nation, your needs and those of your families will be taken care of. The government will continue to implement policies and programs that will secure your future,” Duterte said.
Duterte was also optimistic that his administration, with the help of the government forces, would be able to foil the unlawful acts of terror groups and other lawless elements.
This, as he acknowledged that some groups and individuals continue to sow chaos amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
“You have a crucial role to fulfill that relates to a cause higher than yourselves. I move forward with you as we advance the common good and promote the security of the nation. With your continued support and commitment, I am confident that terrorists and all those who want to bring our nation down will have no place in our country,” he told the military. PNA