DOJ forms panel to probe Jolo carnage

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has assigned a panel of prosecutors that will conduct the preliminary investigation of the complaint filed against policemen tagged in the killing of four Army intelligence officers in Jolo, Sulu last June 29.

(Philippine Army / MANILA BULLETIN)

Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento confirmed on Monday, July 27, that a panel has been formed to conduct the preliminary investigation of the complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) last July 21.
Malcontento said the panel was picked by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon and is headed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Gilmarie Fe Pacamarra.
The other members of the panel are Assistant State Prosecutors Consuelo Corazon Pazziuagan and Alejandro Dqguiso and Prosecution Attorney Gino Angelo Yanga.
In the meantime, Malcontento said the panel has yet to schedule as to when it will start the preliminary investigation.
The case concerns that the June 29 killing Major Arvin Indamog, Captain Irwin Managuelod, Sergeant Eric Velasco and Corporal Abdal Asula, who were engaged in surveillance operations in Jolo against suspected suicide bombers.
In its complaint, the NBI recommended to the DOJ’s National Prosecution Service (NPS) to indict the nine policemen involved in the shooting with murder and planting of evidence.
The nine policemen are Senior Master Sergeant Abdelzhimar Padjiri; Master Sergeant Hanie Baddiri; Staff Sergeant Iskandar  Susulan; Staff Sergeant Ernisar Sappal; Corporal Sulki Andaki; Patrolman Moh. Nur Pasani; Staff Sergeant Almudzrin Hadjaruddin; and Patrolmen Alkajal Mandangan and Rajiv Putalan.
The NBI also recommended the indictment of Sulu Provincial Police Office chief Colonel Michael Bawayan Jr., Jolo Municipal Police Station chief Major Walter Annayo, and Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit chief Captain Ariel Corcino for neglect of duty.
“After a thorough perusal of the records of this case, we are convinced that the evidence presented amply demonstrates that the victims were killed and that was the 9 Police Officers who killed them,” read the memorandum of NBI Legal Evaluation Division (NBI-LED) Officer-In-Charge Atty. Yehlen Agus.
Agus added the nine should also be indicted for planting of evidence since witnesses told investigators that Indammog did not carry any firearm when he alighted from the Montero and “it could be concluded that the rifle recovered near his left hand was indeed planted.”
“We also agree that the failure of the Sulu Police Provincial Director, PDEU Chief and Jolo Chief of Police Chief to inform their subordinates of the active operation by military constitutes Gross Negligence under the Doctrine of Command Responsibility defined in Executive Order 226. In this case, the failure of the above-named Offices resulted in the death of the 4 members of the Philippine Army,” said the NBI-LED chief.