Jun 30, 2020 @ 14:34

NBI to lead independent probe into Sulu ‘misencounter’

The National Bureau of Investigation will lead the formal investigation into the alleged misencounter between Army and police personnel in Jolo, Sulu where four soldiers died during the incident.

This as the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police agreed to let the NBI step into the case after both sides gave different versions of what had transpired.

“Nag-usap na po ang hepe ng Philippine National Police, si Police General Archie Gamboa, at ang ating AFP Chief of Staff si Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., at nagkasundo sila na hingin nga po ang tulong ng National Bureau of Investigation upang magkaroon ng separate at impartial, independent investigation dito,” Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesperson, said in a television interview over CNN Philippines.

The fatalities were identified in a police report from the Jolo municipal police station as Maj.Arvin Indamog, commanding officer of the Army’s 9th Intelligence Service Unit (9ISU), Capt. Irwin Managuelod, field station commander, and intelligence operatives Sgt. Eric Velasco and Cpl. Abdal Asula.

The local office of the NBI in Zamboanga City was already dispatched to start the investigation.

Initial reports from the Sulu Provincial Police Office said the policemen involved claimed self-defense, after the soldiers supposedly lifted and pointed their firearms first to the police.

The report added that the incident occurred when the soldiers allegedly tried to flee the police station after they were brought in for questioning.

The Army, however, refuted the claims, calling the initial police report as “fabricated” and “misleading.”

Army Spokesman Col. Ramon Zagala Jr. maintained that the troops could not have engaged the policemen in a firefight as they had “properly coordinated and identified themselves” as soldiers.

Also, Arevalo denied the troops tried to leave the police station.#

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