9 cops indicted for murder, planting evidence in shooting of 4 soldiers in Jolo
Three of the four soldiers killed in Jolo, Sulu on June 29 are given military honors as relatives receive the remains at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on June 30. Maj. Marvin Indammog, Capt. Irwin Managuelod, Sgt. Jaime Velasco and Cpl. Abdal Asula died when Jolo Municipal Police Station personnel fired upon the Army intelligence team tailing suspected terrorist bombers in Jolo.
The STAR/Krizjohn Rosales

9 cops indicted for murder, planting evidence in shooting of 4 soldiers in Jolo

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - January 4, 2021 - 3:42pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice indicted the nine police officers for murder and planting of evidence over the fatal shooting of the four soldiers in Jolo, Sulu in June 2020.

Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento said in a media brief that the prosecution found probable cause to charge the following members of the Philippine National Police with four counts of murder and with planting of evidence:

  • Police SMSgt. Abdelzhimar Padjiri
  • Police MSgt. Hanie Baddiri
  • Police SSgt. Iskandar Susulan
  • Police SSgt. Ernisar Sappal
  • Police Cpl. Sulki Andaki
  • Pat. Moh Nur Pasani
  • Police SSgt. Almudzrin Hadjaruddin
  • Pat. Alkajal Mandangan
  • Pat. Rajiv Putalan

Central to the case is the shooting incident in June 29 where four soldiers of the Philippine Army gathering intelligence on suicide bombers linked to the Abu Sayyaf group were supposedly stopped and later shot by the cops.

The victims were identified as Maj. Marvin Indamog, Capt. Irwin Managuelod, Sgt. Eric Velasco and Cpl. Abdal Asula.

According to the media brief, the prosecution found that the killings were qualified by treachery. “The victims were unarmed, unsuspecting and were not in a position to defend themselves when they were shot,” it read.

It added: “The autopsy and post-mortem examination results reveal that the victims succumbed to the multiple gunshot inflicted at the back of their bodies.”

Planting of evidence

The prosecution also indicted the police officers on planting of evidence over the firearms “purposely placed” near the left hand of Maj. Indammog, who was right-handed.

“The qualitative test to determine the presence of gun powder nitrates conducted (after the shooting incident) on the hands of Maj. Indammog yielded negative results. The foregoing indicates that respondents planted the firearm to cover up for the intentional killing of the victims,” it said.

The prosecution however dismissed the complaints of Neglect of Duty against Police Col. Michael Bawayan, Jr., Police Maj. Walter Annayo and Police Cpt. Ariel Corcino, superiors of the nine cops. The DOJ said that under Section 4 of Executive Order No. 226, violators "should be held administratively liable," which is outside the jurisdiction of state prosecutors.

Malcontento said they have yet to file the Information before the court, but they intend to submit it as soon as possible.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra also said he directed Malcontento to secure warrants of arrest for the nine accused. “I understand that the accused police officers have been dismissed from the service, so the court should immediately obtain jurisdiction over their person, lest they be able to flee,” he added.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation, which was ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte to conduct the probe after the police and military gave two vastly different accounts of the incident.

The police initially labelled it as a “misencounter,” which the military rejected. The PNP later on clarified that the slain soldiers did not fire their guns.

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