By Francis Wakefield
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Public Affairs Office chief Col. Noel Detoyato Tuesday said they expect the report on the misencounter that took place between Army troopers and policemen in Samar on June 25, 2018 to come out in two weeks.
In an interview at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Detoyato said members of the Board of Inquiry (BOI) from both the AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) has yet to determine how deep the coordination of both Army and police forces involved in the incident is before they can submit a report.
“Oo, hindi pa tapos kasi ang report (Yes, the report is not yet finished),” Detoyato said.
“Baka mga two weeks pa siguro ‘yan, mga two weeks siguro. Hindi pwedeng maging haphazard kasi dalawang malalaking organization (involve dyan) kaya kwan (Maybe it will take another two weeks. We cannot have a haphazard report because it involves two big organizations),” he added.
Detoyato said based on the latest information he has received, it was learned that prior to the misencounter Army and PNP forces – from the troops/policemen to the units – allegedly were able to coordinate through cellphones.
“Nagkaroon ng ano na may mga nag-coordinate daw through cellphones so kailangang, kinuha lahat ng cellphone tapos anuhin mga messages para malaman kung galing saan nagsimula (Coordination was made allegedly through cellphomes so there is a need to get the cellphones and read the messages to determine where it started),” Detoyato said.
“Kasi makikita naman sa time, mga time na ganun. Saan nagsimula tapos saan nagtapos, kung nakarating ba dun sa baba. kasi kung hindi nakarating sa baba, ang gagawin dun we have to modify the structure kung paano mag-coordinate (We can see the time when it started then when it ended, if it reached the ground because if it didn’t reach the ground, what we will do is to modify the structure on how to coordinate).”
“Coordination lang talaga, it will all boil down to coordination,” 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.