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DOJ okays raps vs 9 Jolo cops

 

BY JEFFREY DAMICOG

 

 

The Department of Justice (DoJ) approved Monday the filing in court of murder and planting of evidence charges against the nine policemen involved in the June 29 killing of four Army intelligence officers in Jolo, Sulu.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he has already ordered Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento to “file the criminal information in court (non-bailable), and secure the warrants of arrest ASAP (as soon as possible).”

“I understand that the accused police officers have been dismissed from the service, so the court should immediately obtain jurisdiction over their person, lest they be able to flee,” Guevarra said.

Malcontento said he has approved the resolution which found probable cause to indict the nine policemen with murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) and for planting of evidence under Republic Act No. 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

The prosecutor general said probable cause was determined following the preliminary investigation conducted by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Gilmarie Fe Pacamara on the complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against the nine policemen.

Those to be charged are policemen Abdelzhimar H. Padjiri, Hanie U. Baddiri, Iskandar I. Susulan, Ernisar P. Sappal, Sulki M. Andaki, Moh Nur E. Pasani, Admudzrin M. Hadjaruddin, Alkajal J. Mandangan, and Rajiv Patulan.

The case stemmed from the June 29 killing of Maj. Arvin Indamog, Capt. Irwin Managuelod, Sgt. Eric Velasco, and Cpl. Abdal Asula, who were engaged in surveillance operations in Jolo against suspected suicide bombers.

“The killing was attended/qualified by treachery. The victims were unarmed, unsuspecting and were not in a position to defend themselves when they were shot. The autopsy and post-mortem examination results reveal that the victims succumbed to the multiple gunshot wounds inflicted at the back of their bodies. The firearms identification and cross matching examinations also reveal that ‘all 30 caliber 5.56mm fired cartridges, one caliber 5.56mm deformed bullet, one caliber 5.56mm deformed jacket and four caliber 9mm fired cartridges’ recovered from the scene of the crime and from the bodies of the victims matched with the firearms of the respondents (9 Jolo policemen), and none of which were compatible with the firearms of the victims,” Malcontento said.

Malcontento said there was also probable cause to charge the nine policemen with planting of evidence since Indammog was found to have never fired his firearm.

“The charge refers to the firearm purposely placed and planted near the left hand of Maj. Indammog, who was right handed. The qualitative test to determine the presence of gun powder nitrates conducted (after the shooting incident) on the hands of Maj. Indammog yielded negative results. The foregoing indicates that respondents planted the firearm to cover up for the intentional killing of the victims,” he stated.

On the other hand, Malcontento said the prosecutor dismissed the neglect of duty charge against the superiors of the nine policemen, namely Police Col. Michael Bawayan, Jr., Police Maj. Walter W. Annayo, and Police Cpt. Ariel J. Corcino.

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Written by Tempo Desk

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