PH Army expects guilty verdict for cops in Jolo shooting incident
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Army expects that the nine policemen implicated in the Jolo shooting incident last June, which killed four Army soldiers, will be found guilty.
Army chief Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay on Wednesday welcomed the National Bureau of Investigation’s filing of murder and planting of evidence charges against the nine policemen from Jolo.
“This is proof that their cry for justice is being heard, and we are confident that we will secure conviction against the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” he said in a statement.
“This is a welcome development not only for the Philippine Army but also for the families of our soldiers who were murdered in cold blood,” Gapay said.
Four intelligence agents from the Philippine Army were shot dead near the Jolo police station in Sulu last June 29.
The Army officers had identified themselves to the policemen but were still shot by the policemen when one of the officers alighted, unarmed, from the sports utility vehicle (SUV) they were riding in.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) offered a different version of what happened. The Sulu police force claimed that its men stopped the SUV carrying the intelligence officers and instructed them to proceed to a nearby police station for verification of identities.
According to the PNP, as the police team and the Army officers neared the police station, the officers’ SUV sped off, which triggered a car chase. Police said they only defended themselves as the soldiers opened fire.
Named in the case lodged at the Department of Justice (DOJ) are Police Senior Master Sergeant Abdelzhimar Padjiri, Police Master Sgt. Hannie Baddiri, PSSg Iskandar Susulan, PSSg Erniskar Sappal, and Police Corporal Sulki Andaki, Patrolman Moh Nur Pasani, and Sulu Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU) officers PSSg Almudzrin Hadjaruddin and Patrolmen Alkajal Mandangan and Rajiv Putalan.
They are currently under the custody of the PNP Headquarters Support Service in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines, meanwhile, was “elated” with the latest development.
“We are comforted to note that the first step towards the quest for justice in favor of the four slain Philippine Army soldiers was attained,” said AFP spokesperson Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo.
“The AFP leadership under General Felimon Santos, Jr. will be following intently the development of this case from the filing of the case to prosecution, and rendering of judgment,” he said.
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