Sinas: Manhunt underway for ex-cops in Jolo shooting of Army men
MANILA, Philippines — Authorities are still searching for the dismissed policemen who were accused of murdering four Army intelligence operatives in Jolo, Sulu, in June 2020, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Debold Sinas said Monday.
The nine policemen were released by the PNP from custody early this month after they were dismissed from service because there had been no warrant of arrest for them.
Sinas said some of the dismissed policemen expressed their intent to surrender instead, but he declined to say how many they were.
“We are negotiating for some na ‘yung gustong mag surrender na nakipag negotiate na i-assure ‘yung safety nila,” he told reporters at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.
“Ang sabi ko as long as they will surrender wala akong problema. But the manhunt is still ongoing,” he said.
Tracker teams from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Intelligence Group, and Police Regional Office – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao were deployed in Jolo to search for the former police personnel, Sinas said.
The Department of Justice (DOJ)had filed a case of multiple murder against the dismissed policemen on January 4, but the warrant of arrest was belatedly issued due to the COVID-19 lockdown in Jolo. They were released by PNP despite requests by DOJ to keep them in custody.
The PNP said they let go of the former policemen because they were avoiding the possibility of being accused of arbitrary detention.
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.
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