THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Saturday announced the dismissal of the nine police officers involved in the killing of four Army officers in Jolo, Sulu in June 2020.

JOLO 800x631 - PNP dismisses 9 policemen over death of soldiers in Jolo
One of the nine policemen (in combat fatigue uniform) accused of killing four soldiers in Jolo, Sulu is shown in this photo as he and his fellow officers appear at the National Bureau of Investigation on July 15, 2020. PHOTO BY MIKE ALQUINTO

PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas approved the dismissal of the nine police officers effective immediately, PNP spokesman BGen. Ildebrandi Usana has confirmed that the said cops would be dismissed within 10 days.

“They have been served the dismissal order, which is immediately executory notwithstanding the filing of motion for reconsideration on their part as a matter of procedures,” Usana said in a text message.

The PNP will provide a notice to the National Bureau of Investigation to separately pursue the criminal case against the policemen, Usana added.

“We are just awaiting any development on the criminal aspect of their case in court,” he said.

The nine respondents are SMS. Abdelzhimar Padjiri, MSg. Hanie Baddiri, SSg. Iskandar Susulan, SSg. Ernisar Sappal, Cpl. Sulki Andaki and Pat. Moh. Nur Pasani, who are all members of the Jolo Municipal Police Station; and SSg. Almudzrin Hadjaruddin, Pat. Alkajal Mandangan and Pat. Rajiv Putalan, who are of the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit of Sulu.

Currently, the nine policemen are still under restrictive custody of the Headquarters Support Service (HSS).

“However, the HSS may recommend the temporary release of the dismissed police officers in order that they may go home to their families under the restrictive watch of authorities,” Usana explained.

According to Sinas, the PNP informed the Justice Department investigating panel that if there will be no warrants of arrest, issued against the nine PNP respondents within 10 days, the cops will be turned over to their families.

“At most, we can only place them under restrictive custody, pending formal indictment on criminal charges. Upon their dismissal from the service, the PNP no longer has jurisdiction over them and, as such, has no basis to hold them under restrictive custody any further,” Sinas said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana welcomed the decision of the PNP.

“However, we also sympathize with the families of these nine dismissed policemen, who are facing long jail terms. Their families are as much a victim of the incident as the families of the soldiers who were killed,” Lorenzana said in a statement.

Lorenzana hopes that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and PNP learn from the Jolo incident.

The police and military should take “concrete steps” to prevent similar incidents from happening again, Lorenzana pointed out.

On the other hand, Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesman, said the decision to dismiss the nine cops was a “welcome development.”

“The AFP will monitor unceasingly the development in this case. We will ensure that justice is served for the hapless victims, who were killed while in the actual performance of their solemn duty,” Arevalo said in a statement.

On June 29 2020, the police officers killed four Army officers Maj. Marvin Indammog, 39; Capt. Irwin Managuelod, 33; Sgt. Jaime Velasco, 38; and Cpl. Abdal Asula, 33, who were in civilian clothes because they were conducting intelligence and monitoring operations against alleged suicide bombers.

The Army denied police reports that there was a firefight that ensued between the groups.

Former Jolo police chief Cpt. Walter Annayo was gunned down in Maguindanao after he was dismissed and transferred to another post.

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