AFP urges ex-cops tagged in Jolo killing of 4 soldiers to surrender
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday called on the nine dismissed policemen accused of killing four Army soldiers in Jolo, Sulu, to surrender to authorities.
The military issued a statement after a local court in Sulu ordered the arrest of the nine policemen on Thursday.
“We urge the respondent police personnel to surrender—else the AFP, the PNP (Philippine National Police), and other agencies of government will vigorously search, find, and deliver them to court without delay to face trial for multiple murder,” AFP spokesperson Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.
The PNP released the nine policemen from custody last week despite requests from the Department of Justice after they had been dismissed from the service on January 1.
Authorities earlier said the arrest warrants were delayed because of the COVID-19 lockdown in Sulu.
Four Army intelligence officers on the trail of suspected terrorists were shot dead by policemen at a checkpoint in Sulu in June 2020 in what police had initially described as a “misencounter” but which the military said was murder.
While the arrest warrants were issued belatedly, Arevalo said they were “glad” because the court found probable cause to the arrest orders.
“The arrest and subsequent detention of the suspects are without bail indicating that the court considers that the evidence of their guilt is strong,” he said.
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