MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation leads probe on the clash that involved Sulu police and army. The said resulted to the death of four army soldiers.
According to the police report on the said clash, the patrolling cops intercepted the four army men. The army men rode a SUV that time. The Jolo Municipal Police Station and the Police Drug Enforcement Unit caught them.
The Sulu cops stated that military officers were carrying weapons, that time. They claim that the army officers attempted to leave the scene. However the army men started pointing guns towards their direction.
On the other hand, the military gave a contradicting preview of the story. They stated that it was the Sulu cops who instigated the misencounter.
The army men added that the police “approached and fired upon them for unknown reasons.”
On Monday, PNP Spokesperson Police Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, sent their condolences to the family. He said, “The PNP leadership extends its deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of two Philippine Army officers and two enlisted men who died in the unfortunate incident of a misencounter with PNP personnel in Jolo, Sulu.”
Based from initial investigations on the Sulu clash, the army said that the four fallen members were solving a mission. The said were catching the illegal behaviors of the Abu Sayyaf.
Army Commanding General Lieutenant General Gilbert I. Gapay said that, “The soldiers were on a mission to identify the location of known terrorists in the area.”
They added that “based on eyewitness accounts, no altercation transpired between the two parties nor was there any provocation on the part of Army personnel to warrant such carnage.”
NBI investigates the Sulu Clash
Banac stated that both parties have agreed to seek for a third-party investigation.
“The PNP and AFP officials in Sulu have agreed that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Regional Office in Zamboanga City will conduct and lead the investigation to ensure impartiality and to eliminate any suspicion of undue influence,” he said.
Banac added that “an immediate administrative action, all personnel involved in the incident, particularly from the Jolo MPS, are restricted to quarters in preparation for the NBI’s investigation.”
“The Regional Director of Police Regional Office-BAR, Police Brigadier General Manuel Abu has been instructed to extend full administrative and operational support to the NBI,” he explained.