Cop in Sulu shooting incident yields positive COVID-19 rapid test result
MANILA, Philippines — One of the police officers tagged in the fatal shooting of four Philippine Army soldiers in Jolo, Sulu tested positive in a rapid antibody test for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said he was supposed to bring the nine police officers to Manila but this has been postponed following this development.
“I was supposed to bring the nine respondents to Manila pero nagkaroon ng problema dahil nag positive ‘yung isa,” Gamboa said in a press briefing on Monday.
“I am putting now the responsibility to the regional director of BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) to bring the policemen anytime this week to Camp Crame,” he added.
Gamboa, however, stressed that a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test (swab test) is still needed to confirm the police officer’s rapid test result.
The Philippine Air Force, Gamboa shared, decided not to transport the police officers to Metro Manila as scheduled since the officer who tested positive in the rapid test already had direct contact with the eight other officers.
“The possibility of the eight being infected is still a possibility,” said Gamboa.
He said he ordered Brig. Gen. Manuel Abu, regional director of the Police Regional Office in BARMM, to subject the concerned officer to an RT-PCR test.
The said officer is expected to undergo a swab test this week.
“Kung negative naman siya sa COVID-19 sabay sabay na silang dadalhin sa Manila,” said Gamboa.
(If he tests negative, they will all be brought to Manila.)
The four intelligence officers from the Philippine Army were tracking two suspected suicide bombers from the Abu Sayyaf Group when their vehicle was flagged down by local police officers on June 29.
The police officers claimed that they stopped the vehicle and instructed the soldiers to proceed to a nearby police station for verification purposes.
The police officers said the soldiers’ vehicle sped off and that they only defended themselves after the soldiers opened fire, a claim that the Philippine Army denied.
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