Probe Jolo shooting incident ‘only if necessary’, says party-list lawmaker
MANILA, Philippines — A House lawmaker is in favor of a congressional investigation on the killing of four military intelligence personnel by police officers in Jolo, Sulu, but “only if necessary.”
PBA party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles on Thursday disclosed that there is yet a final decision on whether the House will launch an investigation on the June 29 incident.
“Not sure pa. Have to wait for the decisions of the members and consultations with authorities,” Nograles told INQUIRER.net when asked about the likelihood that House will conduct an inquiry on the matter.
Since Nograles is an author of a bill seeking to strengthen the Philippine National Police (PNP) Internal Affairs Service (IAS), the legislator was also asked if he will support such an investigation, to which he replied: “Only if necessary.”
“Currently, the PNP and AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) are pressured to get to the bottom of it.”
For Nograles, Congress should “keep in mind the legislative necessity to investigate” the incident “because we have limited time.”
“Personally, I want to see the CCTV footage of the incident to put clarity on the disagreeing versions of the PNP and AFP accounts,” Nograles said.
“I have a bill on strengthening the PNP IAS which can use the incident like this as a reference point of IAS necessity for independence from PNP,” the lawmaker added.
The police and the military have two different versions of the incident.
The Philippine Army has said that two military officers and two enlisted personnel from the 11th Infantry Division were tracking Abu Sayyaf members on board an SUV on Monday.
The military personnel were flagged down by police at a checkpoint along Marina Street, Jolo. Despite introducing themselves as members of AFP, police allegedly still directed them to report to the Jolo police station. Some 50 meters from the police station, the soldiers were reportedly fired upon by the policemen, resulting in their instant death. The soldiers were said to be unarmed.
On the other hand, the police claimed they stopped the vehicle carrying the Army men and instructed them to go to the nearby police station to verify their identities.
Police said the military personnel’s SUV, however, sped off as it neared the police station. The police also said their men retaliated as a CCTV footage allegedly shows soldiers pointed guns at them.
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