MANILA – Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Saturday lauded the decision of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to dismiss from service the nine Jolo police officers involved in a shooting incident in Sulu that led to the death of four Philippine Army (PA) intelligence operatives in June last year.
“We welcome (Philippine National Police Chief) Gen. Debold Sinas’ approval of the dismissal of the nine police officers involved in the shooting incident in Jolo, Sulu on 29 June 2020, which led to the deaths of four PA officers and soldiers,” Lorenzana said in a statement.
He also sympathized with the families of the dismissed policemen who might face jail time once they are convicted in court.
“Their families are as much a victim of the incident as the families of the soldiers who were killed,” Lorenzana said.
Moving forward, he expressed hope that the AFP and PNP would learn from the incident and take concrete steps to prevent such things from happening in the future.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the PNP’s decision is a welcome development in the pursuit of justice for the slain troops.
“We understand, however, that the policemen’s separation from the service is an administrative penalty. We are one with the families of our slain soldiers in their quest for the filing of criminal charges against the said members of Jolo Police,” AFP spokesperson, Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.
He added that the AFP would continuously monitor the developments in the case.
“We will ensure that justice is served for the hapless victims who were killed while in the actual performance of their solemn duty,” Arevalo said, adding that they are optimistic that appropriate penalties would be meted to the perpetrators.
On Friday, Sinas confirmed the dismissal of the nine police officers – Senior M/Sgt. Abdelzhimar Padjiri; M/Sgt. Hanie Baddiri; S/Sgt. Iskandar Susulan; S/Sgt. Ernisar Sappal; Cpl. Sulki Andaki; Pat. Mohammed Nur Pasani; S/Sgt. Almudzrin Hadjaruddin; Pat. Alkajal Mandangan; and Pat Rajiv Putalan.
Killed in the June 29 incident in Jolo were Maj. Marvin A. Indammog, 39; Capt. Irwin B. Managuelod, 33; Sgt. Jaime M. Velasco, 38, and Cpl. Abdal Asula, 33.
The four soldiers were conducting intelligence and monitoring operations against two suspected suicide bombers when gunned down by the nine Jolo police officers. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News agency