The Justice department on Monday ordered 12 policemen to answer the complaint filed against them by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in connection with their alleged involvement in the killing of four Philippine Army intelligence agents on June 29 in Jolo.
Prosecutor General Malcontento, head of the department’s National Prosecution Service, said the respondents had 10 days to file their answers to the murder complaint filed against them by the NBI and the victims’ relatives.
Four counts of murder and evidence planting have been filed against Senior Master Sergeant Abelzhimar Padjiri, Master Sergeant Hannie Baddiri, Staff Sergeants Iskandar Susulan and Erniskar Sappal, Corporal Sulki Andaki and Patrolman Moh Nur Pasani, all of the Jolo Municipal Police Station, and Staff Sergeants Almudzrin Hadjaruddin, Pat Alkajal Mandangan and Pat Rajiv Putalan of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Unit-Sulu.
The NBI has found enough evidence to hold the respondents liable for the deaths of Major Marvin Indammog, Capt. Irwin Managuelod, Sgt. Jaime Velasco Jr. and Cpl. Abdal Asula, who were with the 9 Intelligence and Security Unit of the Philippine Army.
The NBI also recommended the prosecution for neglect of duty, under the doctrine of command responsibility, of Sulu Police Provincial Director Colonel Michael Bayawan Jr., PDEU-Sulu chief Police Captain Ariel Corcino, and Jolo Municipal Police Station chief Major Walter Annayo.
As a result of the quarantine restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no need for the respondents to appear before the department to submit their counter-affidavits, Malcontento said.
The prosecutors assigned to conduct a preliminary investigation are Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Gilmarie Fe Pacamarra and Assistant State Prosecutors Consuelo Corazon Pazziuagan and Alejandro Daguiso, and Public Attorney Gino Angelo Yanga.
The NBI says the suspects “simultaneously attacked the victims who were not given the opportunity to defend themselves.
“While some of the police officers did not fire their issued firearms, close-circuit television footage and eyewitness accounts clearly demonstrate that they executed overt acts that constitute moral assistance to the police officers who actually fired at the victims.”
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier said that, based on an initial NBI report, the victims sustained bullet wounds mostly in the back.
The military leadership has accused the police officers of executing the victims, and contrary to their claim of a “misencounter.”