(Eagle News)–Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has ordered the policemen involved in the fatal “encounter” with four soldiers in a Jolo town disarmed.
Año also ordered Philippine National Police Chief Archie Gamboa to restrict the policemen who, according to an initial report from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao police, gunned down the soldiers in Barangay Walled on Monday, June 29.
The report said the policemen were conducting patrol operations when they saw the four armed men board a gray SUV.
The police report said the men introduced themselves as soldiers and were told to go to the Jolo Municipal Station for verification.
Upon arrival, the men fled towards Barangay San Raymundo instead, the report said, triggering a vehicular chase.
The report said at one point, one of the armed men disembarked and pointed a gun at the policemen, prompting them to retaliate.
An Army version of the story said, however, that the soldiers– with ranks of major, captain, sergeant, and corporal–were on official mission.
Año also ordered the policemen restricted under the custody of the Sulu Provincial Director.
“They will be investigated by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and I will request a parallel investigation by the [National Bureau of Investigation],” he added.
In a separate statement, the PNP vowed to cooperate in the probe.
PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said the BARMM regional director, Police Brigadier General Manuel Abu, has been instructed to extend “full administrative and operational support to the NBI.”
“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 misencounter with PNP personnel in Jolo, Sulu,” Banac added.