Galvez: Military extends heartfelt condolences to families of 6 cops who figured in 'misencounter'

By Francis Wakefield

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez Jr., Tuesday said the military extends its sincerest and heartfelt condolences to the families, friends, and comrades of the six police personnel who figured in a misencounter with military troops in Samar on Tuesday.

Maj. General Carlito Galvez, commander of the Western Mindanao Command. (Keith Bacongco) Maj. General Carlito Galvez (Keith Bacongco / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a statement, Galvez said they have already mounted joint and independent investigations and "We assure you that these will be transparent and that no coverup will be allowed to happen in our mutual desire to discover the actual circumstances of our actions."

"Our efforts moving forward from this is to assess our existing coordinative processes and systems with our brothers in the Philippine National Police so that similar unfortunate incidents will not happen again," he added.

Meanwhile, AFP Public Affairs chief Col. Noel Detoyato, said there are processes and mechanisms that will help determine the reason why the misencounter happened.

"Somewhere in the course of the investigation lalabas kung sino ang nagkulang sa coordination (it will eventually come out who made the lack of coordination)," Detoyato said.

"Meron (lapses). Definitely, definitely. There was a tragic result, therefore there is something missing...that will be the objective of the investigation kung sino, kung saan (who, where)," he added.

In the morning of June 25, elements of the Philippine Army 87th Infantry Battalion had a misencounter with members of the 805th Mobile Company of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 8 as both groups were conducting simultaneous combat operations in Sta. Rita and Villareal towns.

Six police officers were killed while nine others were wounded in the incident. The incident is now being investigated.