PNP ignores DOJ, frees 9 cops in intel agents’ slay
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Tuesday that the nine policemen indicted for the killing of four Army intelligence agents in Jolo, Sulu province, last year were released from Camp Crame despite his department’s “requests” for the Philippine National Police to keep them in custody a little longer.
Guevarra said he had already directed state prosecutors to file an urgent motion in a court in Sulu to secure a hold-departure order against the policemen to prevent them from fleeing the country.
He said the lockdown in Sulu due to the pandemic may have prevented the court from immediately issuing a warrant for the policemen’s arrest after the Department of Justice (DOJ) recommended their indictment on Jan. 4.
“The nine police officers were released from custody despite requests of the DOJ with the PNP to hold them awhile until the arrest warrants were issued,” Guevarra said.
“We hope that the accused will voluntarily turn themselves in when [the] warrants are eventually released by the court. Otherwise, law enforcement agents will look for them and take them into custody,” he warned.
The PNP released the nine policemen from its custody last week after Gen. Debold Sinas, chief of the PNP, approved their dismissal from service on Jan. 1 when they were found guilty of administrative offenses for the killing of Maj. Marvin Indammog, Capt. Irwin Managuelod, Cpl. Abdal Asula and Sgt. Jaime Velasco on June 29 last year.
The policemen were charged by the DOJ with four counts of murder and violation of Republic Act No. 10591, or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, for planting a gun beside Indammog’s body.
The military had described as a “rubout” the killing of the military intelligence agents, who belonged to the 11th Infantry Division’s 9th intelligence service unit.
Sinas said on Monday that the nine policemen were released due to absence of a warrant for their arrest.
“We do not want to be charged with arbitrary detention. When I signed their dismissal, it was immediately implementable so we turned them over to their relatives and lawyers last week,” he explained, pointing out that the PNP had no more reason to hold them as they were no longer policemen.
Earlier, Sinas approved the PNP-Internal Affairs Service’s recommendation for the dismissal from service of Police Senior Master Sergeant Abdelzhimar Padjiri, Police Master Sergeant Hannie Baddiri, Police Staff Sergeants Iskandar Susulan and Erniskar Sappal, Police Cpl. Sulki Andaki, Police Pat. Moh Nur Pasani, as well as former Sulu provincial police drug enforcement unit members Police Staff Sergeant Almudzrin Hadjaruddin and Police Patrolmen Alkajal Mandangan and Rajiv Putalan.
—With a report from Jeannette I. Andrade
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