The Internal Affairs Service (IAS) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has recommended the dismissal of the nine policemen involved in the death of four military intelligence officers in Sulu on June 29 after establishing serious lapses in Police Operational Procedures (POP) during the investigation and subsequent hearing of the case.
The case was already submitted to the Office of the Chief PNP last week and it is now up to Gen. Debold Sinas on whether or not to approve the recommendation for dismissal.
But Sinas, in a press briefing on Monday, said the IAS recommendation has not reached his office.
“I do not know who released that recommendation, supposed to be, it should not be released because it is not yet approved,” said Sinas when asked to comment.
He explained that after the IAS completes its report and recommendation, several offices have yet to review the report before it reaches the office of the Chief PNP.
Once it reaches his office, Sinas said he will still endorse it to the Legal Service for review before he decides on the matter.
“Now, whatever happens, whatever the decision, those who are involved could still appeal the decision before the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM),” said Sinas.
Those recommended for dismissal from the service were Senior Master Sgt. Abdelzhimar Padjiri, Master Sgt. Hannie Baddiri, Staff Sgt. Iskandar Susulan, Staff Sgt. Ernisal Sappal, Corporal Sulki Andaki, Staff Sgt. Almudzrin Hadjarrudin, Patrolman Mohammed Nur Pasani, Patrolman Alkajal Mandangan, and Patrolman Rajiv Putalan.
Capt. Ariel Consino, then head of the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit of Sulu, and Lt. Col. Walter Annayo, then chief of police of the Sulu Police Provincial Office, were also recommended to be sanctioned for command responsibility.
Annayo was gunned down in Maguindanao several days ago and his death was being linked to the Jolo incident wherein Maj. Marvin Indammog and three other Army intelligence officers were killed.
Indammog and his men were on board a Sports Utility Vehicle tailing suspected suicide bombers when they were flagged down by Jolo policemen at a checkpoint in Barangay Busbus.
Since the soldiers could not allegedly produce identification cards, they were ordered to head to the Jolo police station for verification. It was where the four soldiers died at the hands of the policemen.
One of the slain soldiers was linked to drug operations in Sulu after one of his relatives was killed in a buy-bust in Jolo. The military denied the allegation.
The policemen were accused of grave misconduct since Indammog was allegedly already raising his hands but was still shot. Most of the entry points of the bullet wounds of the soldiers were at the back, which disputed police claim that there was an attempt to shoot it out with them.
The nine policemen are currently under restrictive custody at Camp Crame and are facing criminal charges in connection with the incident.
Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said the reported recommendation for dismissal is not enough.
“The AFP welcomes the reported recommendation by Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) to separate the perpetrators from the PNP service. And if ever that recommendation will be adopted, it is but an administrative penalty,” said Arevalo.
“We are looking forward to the two-fold criminal and civil liabilities of those involved in the murder of our soldiers. We are anxiously waiting for that day that such a verdict will be reached to begin from the filing of the cases, trial, and decision rendered by a competent court,” he added.
Arevalo said their attention to the development of the case is part of their commitment to the family of the four soldiers that the AFP will take the lead in the pursuit of justice.