The Department of Justice hopes to release in two or three months the resolution on the complaint against the policemen tagged in the June 29 killing of four Army intelligence officers in Jolo, Sulu.
Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento said the resolution’s release “timing wise, could be around December or January.”
Malcontento said Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Gilmarie Fe Pacamara, who is handling the case, has concluded the conduct of the preliminary investigation “two weeks ago.”
Pacamara conducted the preliminary investigation on the criminal complaint that the National Bureau of Investigation filed last July 21.
The case concerns the killing of Major Arvin Indamog, Capt. Irwin Managuelod, Sgt. 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 – Police Senior Master Sgt. Abdelzhimar Padjiri; Police Master Sgt. Hanie Baddiri; Police Staff Sgt. Iskandar Susulan; Police Staff Sgt. Ernisar Sappal; Police Corporal Sulki Andaki; Police Patrolman Moh. Nur Pasani; Police Staff Sgt. Almudzrin Hadjaruddin; and Police Patrolmen Alkajal Mandangan and Rajiv Putalan.
The NBI also recommended the indictment of Sulu Provincial Police Office chief Police Col. Michael Bawayan Jr.,Jolo Municipal Police Station chief Police Major Walter Annayo, and Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit chief Police Capt. 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 nine police officers who killed them,” NBI Legal Evaluation Division (NBI-LED) officer-in-charge Atty. Yehlen Agus said in a memorandum.
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 their Mitsubishi 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 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 four members of the Philippine Army,” said the NBI-LED chief.