MANILA – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday night said the military is more than willing to help the Philippine National Police (PNP) in implementing the arrest warrants to be issued by the court against the nine dismissed Jolo policemen implicated in the fatal shooting of four Army intelligence operatives in June last year.
“If they need AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines)’s help, they will get it,” he said in response to the Philippine News Agency (PNA)’s queries on whether he believes that the PNP can arrest its former operatives.
While disappointed with the PNP’s earlier decision to release the nine to the custody of their families and lawyers due to the absence of an arrest warrant, Lorenzana noted that the police just gave itself additional work in doing so.
“Yes, but the PNP just gave themselves additional work. They will be the ones to serve the warrants and make the arrest,” he said.
Lorenzana added that the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) told him that the PNP was forced to release these police officers as they were already dismissed from the service.
“According to the DILG the PNP has to release them because they are already discharged (from the service),” he added.
Last week, a panel of prosecutors of the Department of Justice (DOJ) found probable cause to indict the nine police officers — Senior M/Sgt. Abdelzhimar Padjiri; M/Sgt. Hanie Baddiri; S/Sgt. Iskandar Susulan; S/Sgt. Ernisar Sappal; Cpl. Sulki Andaki; Pat. Moh Nur Pasani; S/Sgt. Almudzrin Hadjaruddin; Pat. Alkajal Mandangan; and Pat. Rajiv Putalan for four counts of murder and planting of evidence.
The panel also did not recommend bail for the accused. PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas earlier approved the dismissal from service of the nine police officers.
Killed in the June 29, 2020 incident were Maj. Marvin A. Indammog, 39; Capt. Irwin B. Managuelod, 33; Sgt. Jaime M. Velasco, 38, and Cpl. Abdal Asula, 33.
The four soldiers were conducting intelligence and monitoring operations against two suspected suicide bombers when gunned down by the nine Jolo police officers. (PNA)