By AARON RECUENCO
THE nine policemen being investigated for the death of four military intelligence agents last week in Jolo, Sulu were transferred to Camp Crame, Quezon City Wednesday.
Police Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, spokesman of the Philippine National Police, said the nine policemen boarded a Cebu Pacific flight at 6:05 a.m. at the Cotabato Airport and arrived in Manila at 9:15 a.m.
“At 11 a.m., the nine policemen arrived at the Office of the Chief Executive Senior Police Officer (Command Sgt-Major) and were turned over to Police Col. Jerich Royales, Deputy Director for Operations of the Headquarters Support Service,” said Banac.
The nine policemen were supposed to board a military cargo plane over the weekend but the travel did not push through after one of them tested positive for COVID-19 during a rapid test. Testing positive during the rapid test does not mean coronavirus infection as it only means that anti-bodies have been developing to fight infection.
Banac said the nine policemen were eventually cleared to travel. They were escorted by the regional director of the Bangsamoro Administrative Region Police Brig. Gen. Manuel Abu on their transfer to Camp Crame from the PNP-BAR headquarters in Maguindanao.
They were identified as Police Senior Master Sgt. Abdelzhimar Padjiri, Police Master Sgt. Hanie Baddiri, Police Staff Sgts. Iskandar Susulan, Almudzrin Hadjaruddin and Ernisar Sappa, Police Corporal Sulki Andaki, and Police Patrolmen Moh. Nur Pasani, Alkajal Mandangan, and Rajiv Putalan.
“Their presence here at Camp Crame is to ensure their availability to face investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation,” said Banac.
The nine policemen were responsible for the death of two military intelligence officers and two other soldiers – Major Marvin Indammog, commanding officer of the 9th Intelligence Security Unit, Capt. Irwin Managuelod, field service intelligence commander, Sgt. Eric Velasco, and Corporal Abdal Asulain in Barangay Bus-Bus, Jolo.
The two slain officers were products of the Philippine Military Academy.
The incident sparked outrage among the military especially in Sulu after the local policemen allegedly tried to make it appear that there was an attempt from the four soldiers to shoot it out with them. Accounts of some witnesses and the video footage, however, showed otherwise.
The anger among soldiers was so intense that President Duterte had to fly to Western Mindanao to pacify the military commanders and soldiers.
Both the police and the military leaderships agreed to have the National Bureau of Investigation lead the probe amid conflicting statements from various sources.