'There's intent to kill': AFP chief wants urgent filing of criminal raps vs 9 cops | Inquirer News
JOLO SHOOTING INCIDENT

‘There’s intent to kill’: AFP chief wants urgent filing of criminal raps vs 9 cops

/ 03:41 PM August 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay on Wednesday sought for the immediate filing of charges in court against the nine policemen involved in the killing of four soldiers in Sulu, saying there was an “intent to kill” the military intelligence officers.

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At a Senate hearing of the public order committee on the fatal shooting of the four Army men, Gapay also flagged a possible cover-up on the killing of the soldiers.

READ: Sulu cops possibly tried to cover tracks after ‘misencounter’ with soldiers – Army spokesman

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He insisted that the initial spot report of the police on the incident was “fabricated, full of inconsistencies and misleading.”

“This was a deliberate act. There was an intent to kill, but we cannot ascertain the motive, but definitely there is an intent to kill. Nakita n’yo ‘yung tama [ng bala], nasa likod lahat,” Gapay said.

“Our personnel, walang threat dahil kabaro natin ito. Pwede natin kausapin ito. That’s why we find it very unique, nung mabasa namin ‘yung report. ‘Bakit ganito na nangyari?’ Parang may cover-up, may angle na self-defense,” he added.

READ: Military agents shot in the back – DOJ

READ: PH Army expects guilty verdict for cops in Jolo shooting incident

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay appears before the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs hearing Wednesday, August 19, 2020. The panel, chaired by Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, is looking into the fatal shooting of four Army soldiers reportedly by Philippine National Police personnel in Sulu last June 29, 2020 (Joseph Vidal/ Senate PRIB).

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) earlier filed a murder complaint against nine police officers for the death of Major Marvin Indammog, Captain Irwin Managuelod, Sergeant Jaime Velasco Jr., and Corporal Abdal Asula.

Gapay noted that should these cases be elevated to the courts, the “real motive” behind the killing of the military officers will surface.

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“We urge the immediate filing of murder, planting of evidence, and neglect of duty charges as recommended by NBI to the proper court immediately. We have been waiting for two months already and justice delayed is justice denied,” he said.

“Bakit ganito ang nangyari? There’s something wrong here. That’s why if we file this in court, we are also hoping that the real motive, intent, of the killing of the four Army personnel would come out. The truth should come out,” he added.

The four military intelligence officers 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 military 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.

However, Gapay said that upon reading the police’s initial spot report, he immediately sought the help of the NBI for an impartial investigation into the incident.

“We requested the NBI to assist in the investigation because, dun palang sa spot report, we have the feeling that we would want to get an impartial investigation on this,” he told senators.

An investigation by the NBI showed that the police officers simultaneously attacked the Army Intelligence agents without “the opportunity to defend themselves.”

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