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DOJ wraps up probe on Sulu ‘misencounter’

GOVERNMENT prosecutors have wrapped up their investigation into the so-called Jolo, Sulu ‘misencounter’ where four Army officers died last June 29.

Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento added that the formal resolution may be released this December or January next year.

Yes, timing wise, could be around December or January. That’s the target,” Malcontento said when asked about the release of the resolution.

Recently, the nine policemen implicated in the incident have filed their rejoinder on the complaint for murder and other charges filed against them before the DOJ.

The respondent-lawmen are facing complaints for murder and planting of evidence. They are Staff Sgts. Almudzrin Hadjaruddin, Iskandar Susulan and Ernisar Sappal; Patrolmen Alkajal Mandangan, Rajiv Putalan and Moh Nur Pasani; Senior M/Sgt. Abdelzhimar Padjiri, M/Sgt. Hanie Baddiri and Cpl Sulki Andaki.

In the National Bureau of Investigation complaint, also charged with neglect of duty under the principle of command responsibility were PCol Michael Bayawan, head of the Sulu Provincial Police Office, PMaj Walter Annayo head of the Jolo Municipal Police Station and PCPT Ariel J Corcino of the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit.

The NBI conducted an independent probe into the alleged misencounter between Army officers and policemen in Jolo, Sulu after the leadership of the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines reportedly gave conflicting versions.

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 lifted and pointed their firearms first to 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, refuted 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.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight
Hector Lawas
Court reporter for more than 20 years