The chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, assured the public that there would be no more Jolo-like shooting incidents involving the police and the military.
“We assure you that nothing will happen. We will assure the community and the public that the AFP and PNP is strong, it is a partnership and it will be a brotherhood,” said Cascolan.
Gen. Gilbert Gapay, chief of the staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said such an issue is now being addressed through enhanced coordination not only at the national level but also down to the city and municipal levels.
“Part of our updated campaign plan is to really enhance joint intelligence, joint operations wherein the capabilities of the PNP and the AFP are fused because there are really areas where the AFP has weak presence,” said Gapay.
Four military intelligence officers, including two officers with ranks of major and captain, died after they were repeatedly shot by nine Jolo policemen on June 29. The policemen claimed that the soldiers did not present identification cards in the checkpoints and that they were forced to shoot them after one of them tried to point a gun at them.
The nine policemen are now facing murder and planting of evidence.
The four soldiers were reportedly tailing suicide bombers in Jolo when they were intercepted by the policemen. In August, the suicide bombers allegedly being tailed by the slain soldiers were tagged as responsible in the twin bombings in Jolo that left at least 15 people dead.
“We address those weaknesses and really harness our strengths, our joint capacities and we have joint Civil Military Operations and Police-Community Relations, joint legal offensives and joint training,” said Gapay.
“So in all aspects of those operations, the implementation of this plan is joint from intelligence to training and the mechanisms on how to enhance them and operationalize them on the ground,” he added.