PNP, AFP to create board of inquiry to improve operational procedures
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines will create a board of inquiry to discuss how to improve operational procedures between both agencies, following the fatal shooting by police officers that led to the death of four soldiers in Jolo, Sulu on June 29.
“Today, the inspector general of the AFP Lt. Gen. [Gilbert] Gapay will be arriving here in Crame to thresh out organization matters in the creation of a board of inquiry, which will be launched together with the AFP inspector general and the inspector general of the Internal Affairs Service of the PNP,” PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said in a press briefing on Monday.
Gamboa said he and Gapay have agreed for the creation of the board “primarily to determine operational lapses and how we can improve our operational procedures, both of the AFP and the PNP.”
Gamboa also recalled instructions of President Rodrigo Duterte during his meeting with PNP and AFP officials last Friday, saying the President had a common message for both armed agencies.
“Ang una niyang sinabi (he first told us), let us cool down, let us calm down over what happened,” he said.
“He also emphasized on both forums na mananagot ang dapat managot (that the guilty will be held liable). He is expecting full accountability. Kung meron mang sala ang mga pulis (if the police have a liability), then even the AFP and PNP leadership will submit to whatever the decision of the NBI,” he said.
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. The police officers said they stopped the vehicle and instructed the soldiers to proceed to a nearby police station for verification of their identities.
Cops claimed the soldiers’ vehicle then sped off and that they only defended themselves as the soldiers opened fire, a narrative that the Philippine Army had strongly denied.
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