Tension eased between cops and soldiers in Sulu, says PNP chief
MANILA, Philippines — There is no more tension between police officers and the military in Jolo, Sulu following the fatal shooting of four members of the Philippine Army by members of the local police force, Philippine National Police chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said on Monday.
“With the advent na pumunta ‘yung joint AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and PNP officials, I don’t think meron pang pressure na ganun or tension na ganun sa Jolo,” Gamboa said in a press briefing on Monday.
(With the visit of AFP and PNP officials, I don’t think there is still pressure or tension in Jolo.)
“We have been assured by both Armed Forces commanders and together with the PNP na let us just wait for the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) to come up with the results of the investigation, and for the meantime, we continue to work together,” he also said.
The PNP and AFP earlier created a board of inquiry to discuss how to improve operational procedures between both forces following the death of the four shoulders in a shooting incident with police officers in Jolo on June 29.
Gamboa said that adjustments on coordination procedures will not just be done by the PNP.
“This will be a joint evaluation, joint resolution on how to go about the coordination. We can even start from strategic and down to tactical,” he explained, adding that the board has yet to finalize its report.
“Generally kung anuman ang resulta ng board of inquiry, we will adjust our operational policy and of course encourage the AFP to do the same,” he added.
The nine police officers allegedly involved in the incident are currently under restrictive custody at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
According to Gamboa, even the nine police officers want the investigation of NBI to be immediately concluded so that those not liable for the shooting can return to their families in Sulu.
The four intelligence officers from the Philippine Army who died were tracking two suspected suicide bombers of 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.
The police officers claimed that the soldiers’ vehicle 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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