The Philippine National Police (PNP) has accounted and secured all the firearms issued to the nine Jolo policemen behind the death of four military intelligence officers as the investigation aimed at piecing together the events that led to the shooting started.
PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said the chief of police of Jolo, Lt. Col. Walter Annayo, was also relieved from his post to ensure an impartial investigation of the probe that would be conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
“He was relieved from the post for command responsibility,” said Banac.
“All the nine policemen involved in that incident are now restricted to quarters at the Sulu Police Provincial Office in Jolo to ensure their availability to face investigation,” he added.
They were identified as Police Senior Master Sgt. Abdelzhimar Padjiri, Police Master Sergeant Hanie Baddiri, Police Staff Sgt. Iskandar Susulan, Police Staff Sgt. Ernisar Sappal, Police Corporal Sulki Andaki and patrolman Moh Nur E Pasani who are all members of the Jolo Municipal Police Alert Team.
Also restricted within their Sulu quarters are Police Staff Sgt. Almudzrin Hadjaruddin, patrolman Alkajal Mandangan, and Patrolman Rajiv Putalan of the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU) of Sulu.
Both the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have agreed to tap the NBI to become the lead investigator of the incident in Jolo that has been causing tension especially among the soldiers deployed in Sulu.
PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa appealed for calm and sobriety as he accused some sectors of possible deliberate attempt to sow wrong information in order to drive a wedge between the police and the military.
“Our relationship is founded on a long shared history of cooperation and brotherhood. In fact, we are inter-operable in the field because we share the same roots and are fighting a common enemy. While the incident is most unfortunate, it should not undermine operational policies and established cooperation guidelines that we have relied on and trusted for years,” said Gamboa.
He then asked the public to wait for the result of the investigation from the NBI, even as he assured that the PNP would yield to the findings and would act based on the result of the investigation.