A panel of prosecutors of the Department of Justice (DOJ) have found probable cause to charge nine policemen for the killing of four Army intelligence officers on June 29 last year for four counts of murder and planting of evidence.
It was also recommended that the nine policemen be held without bail.
In a statement on Monday, Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento said his office recommended the murder charges against Senior Master Sgt. Abdelzhimar Padjiri; Master Sgt. Hanie Baddiri; Staff Sgt. Iskandar Susulan; Staff Sgt. Ernisar Sappal; Cpl. Sulki Andaki; Pat. Moh. Nur Pasani; Staff Sgt. Almudzrin Hadjaruddin; Pat. Alkajal Mandangan; and Pat. Rajiv Putalan.
“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 the bodies,” Malcontento said.
The report of the panel noted that a firearm was placed and planted near the left hand of Army Maj. Marvin A. Indammog, who was right-handed. He also yielded negative for gun powder nitrates.
“The foregoing indicates that respondents planted the firearm to cover up for the intentional killing of the victims,” it said.
Immediate officers of the policemen namely, Col. Michael Bayawan Jr., Maj. Walter Annayo, and Capt. Ariel J. Corcino would be held administratively liable in separate proceedings by the appropriate government agency, the report said.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, for his part, directed to pursue the case to be filed with the Jolo, Sulu court as soon as possible.
Aside from 39-year-old Indamong, also killed in the Jolo shooting incident were Army 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 they were gunned down by the nine Jolo police officers.
The National Bureau of Investigation in Western Mindanao filed the charges against the police officers. SOVEREIGNPH