Robredo visits wakes of soldiers slain in Sulu: 'They had such promising futures'
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo visited the wakes of 3 of the 4 soldiers who were gunned down by police in Sulu, saying it was "heartbreaking" to hear their stories from the families they left behind.
On Wednesday, July 1, Robredo paid her respects to Major Marvin Indammog, Captain Irwin Managuelod, and Sergeant Jaime Velasco, whose wakes are currently being held in Metro Manila. (READ: Army enraged; police shot 4 intel soldiers in Sulu without gunfight)
The Vice President was no longer able to see the remains of Corporal Abdal Asula as he was already laid to rest in Jolo to follow the Muslim tradition of burying their dead within 24 hours.
"All of them are young men who died in the service of the country. It was heartbreaking to hear their stories from their respective families. They had such promising futures ahead of them," the Vice President said in a Facebook post late Wednesday night.
"My heart goes out to their loved ones and the entire Philippine Army who are all grieving for their loss," she added.
The Vice President then thanked Philippine Army chief Lieutenant General Gilbert Gapay for "his leadership and for exerting all efforts to ensure that justice will be served."
The 4 slain soldiers were Armed Forces of the Philippines intelligence officers who were tracking down alleged suicide bombers affiliated with the ISIS-linked Abu Sayyaf bomb expert Mundi Sawadjaan in Sulu on Monday, June 29.
The Sulu police gunned them down after an alleged confrontation and car chase. The cops claimed the soldiers pulled out their guns, forcing the police to shot at them.
Gapay disputed the police's claim, saying the incident was not a "misencounter" but a "rubout" and "murder." He cited CCTV footage and eyewitness accounts, including from other incognito Army personnel. (READ: Former AFP chief posts footage of Sulu crime scene, slams PNP ‘violations')
Lieutenant Colonel Walter Annayo, the police chief of Jolo, Sulu, has since been sacked from his post as the authorities began investigating the incident. – Rappler.com