Monday Jul, 13 2020 09:17:25 PM

NBI inquiry on deadly Jolo police-Army shootout sought

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 09:00 AM Tue Jun 30, 2020
461
By: 
John M. Unson
Public site photo of Ivan Henares

COTABATO CITY --- Top military officials have urged the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the alleged shootout Monday in Jolo, Sulu between policemen and four Army plainclothes agents who all perished in the incident.

Army Major Marvin Indammog, commanding officer of the Intelligence Service Unit-9, and his companions, Captain Irwin Managuelod, Sgt. Eric Velasco, Corporal Abdal Asula, all got killed in the alleged encounter in a busy spot in Jolo, capital town of Sulu province in the Bangsamoro region.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of WestMinCom, said Tuesday he appreciates the efforts of Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año for the NBI to initiate a “third party” probe on the death of the four soldiers.

Año was also reported to have ordered the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to disarm all police personnel involved in the alleged shootout.

 

“We still have to establish the real circumstances of the incident. We appeal for sobriety among sectors monitoring the developments on the incident on social media and the mainstream news outlets. Tact and prudence is what we need this time,” Sobejana told The Philippine Star.

The Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region confirmed the incident at past 5:00 p.m. Monday saying the shootout erupted when the four men alighted from their vehicle after a brief chase by a police team, pulled out guns as they disembarked from their vehicle, sparking the gunfight that resulted in the deaths.

PRO-BAR’s headquarters in Parang town in Maguindanao said the slain men, who turned out to be members of an Army intelligence unit, were together in a Mitsubishi Montero sports utility vehicle that a police team intercepted somewhere in Barangay Busbus near downtown Jolo.

PRO-BAR said instead of proceeding to the Jolo police station as requested, the four soldiers sped away, prompting the chase that eventually led to gunfight.

Officials of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, which has jurisdiction over military units in Sulu, said Indammog and his three companions left the checkpoint when they sensed that their covert mission was compromised due to the long identity verification process done by the police.

The sources, who have also urged for an NBI inquiry on the incident, said the scene of the encounter is quite far from the checkpoint where Indammog, who belonged to the Class 2006 of the Philippine Military Academy, and his men were reportedly flagged down for inspection by a police team.

“We are confident, absolutely optimistic the office of DILG Secretary Año and the NBI, which is under the Department of Justice, can put closure to the incident. We just have to wait for that patiently,” Sobejana said. 

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