A Sulu court has ordered the arrest of the nine dismissed police officers indicted for the fatal shooting of four Army intelligence operatives in Jolo in June last year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Friday.
“Warrants were issued yesterday (Thursday),” Prosecutor Honey Delgado of the Office of the Prosecutor General told reporters.
She added that the court is currently hearing the motion for the issuance of hold departure orders against the accused, which would prevent them from leaving the country once it is issued.
State prosecutors have earlier found probable cause to charge the nine dismissed 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.
In a message to reporters, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana said he is hoping that the accused would surrender immediately to authorities.
“Well, we presume that they are with their families (and that) they will make themselves available once the warrant of arrest is issued,” he said in Filipino.
Usana added that PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas has ordered the monitoring of the movement of the former police officers.
Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said the military welcomes this development.
“Albeit issued belatedly, we are glad that the RTC (Regional Trial Court) Branch 3 of Jolo found probable cause to issue a warrant for the arrest of the nine suspects in the murder of four Army Intelligence personnel,” he said in a message to reporters. SOVEREIGNPH