Slain Jolo soldier’s kin hopes ‘justice will prevail’ as AFP, PNP launch own inquiry
MANILA, Philippines – With investigations underway, the family of one of 4 soldiers shot dead by police in Jolo, Sulu on June 27 expressed hope that justice will be served for the victims.
AJ Managuelod, the widow of Army Captain Irwin Managuelod, released a statement to the media on Wednesday afternoon, July 8.
“I and the rest of our family are still grieving. However, I am quite relieved that finally, the investigation is now rolling. I just hope that eventually the truth will come out and justice will prevail,” Mrs Managuelod said in a message sent to Rappler.
The Philippine Army rendered full military honors as Captain Managuelod was buried in Lipa City, Batangas, on Tuesday, July 7.
The Army also rendered full military honors as the other soldiers were laid to rest: Major Marvin Indammog in Kalinga on July 3, Corporal Abdal Asula in Sulu on June 30, and Sergeant Jaime Velasco at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City on July 7.
The 4 soldiers were part of the Army’s Intelligence Service Unit, and were on a mission to track down Abu Sayyaf bombers when they were killed.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have “embarked on a Board of Inquiry,” AFP spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo said on Wednesday.
AFP inspector general Lieutenant General Franco Nemesio Gacal and his counterpart in the PNP will probe the Jolo incident “to determine what went wrong and recommend…what amendments in the current ‘Standard Operating Procedures’ and ‘Techniques, Tactics, and Procedures’ are necessary to ensure operational success and prevent the incident from happening again,” Arevalo added.
The Board of Inquiry will submit its recommendations to AFP chief General Felimon Santos Jr after the probe.
NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin told Rappler the result of their investigation might be out “probably in 3 or 4 weeks.”
In the afternoon of June 29, police at a checkpoint in Barangay Bus-Bus, Jolo, flagged down the 4 soldiers who, in plainclothes, were driving around using signals to locate the Abu Sayyaf targets. Doubting their identities, a group of 9 cops escorted them to the municipal police station.
According to the police report, the 4 soldiers tried to speed away after getting past the police station. When cornered, the soldiers alighted and pointed firearms at the cops, who fired in self-defense. A gunfight supposedly followed, in which the soldiers were killed.
The military report states the 4 soldiers pulled over some 50 meters past the police station. Indammog, their commander, got off to speak with the cops, who then shot him. Hearing gunshots, Asula and Velasco also got off the car, and were then shot, too. (WATCH: The killing of 4 soldiers in Sulu – what happened before and after)
The cops then went for Managuelod, who was inside the car working on his laptop. Western Mindanao military commander Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana said Managuelod was found dead inside the car.
The 9 policemen involved in the incident were flown from Sulu to Manila on Tuesday, and are now detained at the PNP headquarters, Camp Crame in Quezon City. – Rappler.com