Guevarra seeks HDOs vs. dismissed cops in Jolo shooting; AFP Chief deplores PNP’s release order

Published January 12, 2021, 3:17 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday, Jan. 12, said he has ordered prosecutors to seek the issuance of Hold Departure Orders (HDOs) against nine dismissed policemen involved in the killing of four Army intelligence officers to prevent them from fleeing the country.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO /MANILA BULLETIN)
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO /MANILA BULLETIN)

General Gilbert Gapay, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), was dismayed by the release of nine policemen who were tagged in the killing of four Philippine Army intelligence personnel in Jolo, Sulu in June 2020.

Guevarra said prosecutors have already filed last Jan. 4 murder and planting of evidence charges against the nine accused before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Sulu.

“The court was supposed to issue the warrants of arrest thereafter, but apparently failed to do so because of the current lockdown in Sulu,” Guevarra lamented.

According to Major General Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesperson, said Tuesday that Gapay was “extremely disappointed” with the decision of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to release the accused policemen from its custody.

The accused cops were identified as Senior Master Sergeant Abdelzhimar Padjiri, Master Sgt. Hanie Baddiri, Staff Sgts. Iskandar Susulan and Ernisar Sappal, Corporal Sulki Andaki, Patrolman Mohammad Nur Pasani, all of the Jolo Municipal Police Station; and Staff Sgt. Almudzrin Hadjaruddin, Patrolmen Alkajal Mandangan and Rajiv Putalan, of the Sulu Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit.

The accused cops were tagged in the murder and planting of evidence against Major Marvin Indammog, Captain Irwwin Managuelod, Sgt. Jaime Velasco, and Cpl. Abdal Asula.

The four Army intelligence personnel were shot dead by the Jolo cops at a checkpoint while they were chasing Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) suicide bombers on June 29, 2020.

PNP Chief, Gen. Debold Sinas said the cops were released from the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City last week since the court did not issue an arrest warrant against them. He added that they could be charged for arbitrary detention if the PNP will continue to detain the nine accused.

Meanwhile, Arevalo assured the families of the slain soldiers that the AFP “will continue with our persistent coordinations with relevant government agencies for the issuance of the said warrants.

“Once issued, we will help in the immediate and unimpeded service of said warrants to the named police personnel,” he noted.

The accused cops were tagged in the murder and planting of evidence against Major Marvin Indammog, Captain Irwwin Managuelod, Sgt. Jaime Velasco, and Cpl. Abdal Asula.

The four Army intelligence personnel were shot dead by the Jolo cops at a checkpoint while they were chasing Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) suicide bombers on June 29, 2020.

The police claimed that the soldiers tried to evade checkpoint and fired shots against them but the AFP believes otherwise so they requested a separate investigation from the National Bureau of Investigation.

The NBI found out that the cops killed the four Army personnel and planted guns on them.

“We hope that the nine accused will voluntarily turn themselves in when such warrants are eventually released by the court,” Guevarra stated.

“Otherwise, law enforcement agents will look for them and take them into custody,” he warned.

The accused cops have been dismissed from service for grave misconduct, an administrative charge, after Sinas approved the recommendation submitted by the PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS) last January 1, 2021.

 
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