The Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to wrap up its preliminary investigation of the complaint filed against policemen tagged in the June 29 killings of four Army intelligence officers in Jolo, Sulu.
“For resolution na yan by end of the month (It will be set for resolution within the month),” said Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento.
In the meantime, Malcontento said Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Gilmarie Fe Pacamara, who is conducting the preliminary investigation, is waiting for the policemen who were named as respondents in the case to submit their respective rejoinders that will give them the chance to further refute the allegations against them.
The prosecutor general said the policemen were given “10 days to submit” their rejoinders.
The case concerns that the June 29 killing Major Arvin Indamog, Captain Irwin Managuelod, Sergeant Eric Velasco and Corporal Abdal Asula, who were engaged in surveillance operations in Jolo against suspected suicide bombers.
In its complaint, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) recommended to the DOJ’s National Prosecution Service (NPS) to indict nine policemen involved in the shooting with murder and planting of evidence.
The nine policemen are Senior Master Sergeant Abdelzhimar Padjiri; Master Sergeant Hanie Baddiri; Staff Sergeant Iskandar Susulan; Staff Sergeant Ernisar Sappal; Corporal Sulki Andaki; Patrolman Moh. Nur Pasani; Staff Sergeant Almudzrin Hadjaruddin; and Patrolmen Alkajal Mandangan and Rajiv Putalan.
The NBI also recommended the indictment of Sulu Provincial Police Office chief Colonel Michael Bawayan Jr.,Jolo Municipal Police Station chief Major Walter Annayo, and Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU) chief Captain Ariel Corcino for neglect of duty.
“After a through perusal of the records of this case, we are convinced that the evidence presented amply demonstrates that the victims were killed and that was the 9 Police Officers who killed them,” read the memorandum of NBI Legal Evaluation Division (NBI-LED) Officer-In-Charge Atty. Yehlen Agus.
Agus added the nine should also be indicted for planting of evidence since witnesses told investigators that Indamog did not carry any firearm when he alighted from the Montero and “it could be concluded that the rifle recovered near his left hand was indeed planted.”
“We also agree that the failure of the Sulu Police Provincial Director, PDEU Chief and Jolo Chief of Police Chief to inform their subordinates of the active operation by military constitutes Gross Negligence under the Doctrine of Command Responsibility defined in Executive Order 226. In this case, the failure of the above-named Offices resulted in the death of the 4 members of the Philippine Army,” said the NBI-LED chief.