The Department of Justice has indicted nine policemen for their alleged involvement in the killing of four Philippine Army soldiers in June in Jolo.
A panel of prosecutors has found probable cause to hold the nine policemen liable for four counts of murder in the killing of the four Army intelligence officers out on a mission to track down a suspected suicide bomber of the Abu Sayyaf.
The prosecutors also found sufficient evidence to charge the accused nine policemen with the violation of “The Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act” for planting evidence.
Charged with four counts of murder were Police S/MS. Abdelzhimar Pajiri, M/S. Hanie Badirri, S/Sgts. Iskandar Susulan, Ernisar Sappal and Almudzrin Hadjaruddin, Cpl. Sulki Andaki and Patrolmen Muhammad Nur Pasani, Rajiv Putalan and Alkajal Mandangan.
The DOJ panel said the charge refers to the firearm purposely planted near the left hand of one of the victims: Maj. Marvin Indammog, who was right-handed.
“The qualitative test to determine the presence of gunpowder nitrates conducted (after the shooting incident) on the hands of Maj. Indammog yielded negative results. The foregoing indicates that respondents planted the firearm to cover up for the intentional killing of the victims,” the DOJ resolution says.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra directed Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento to immediately release the resolution of the panel, file the criminal information against the 9 policemen in court and to secure the arrest warrants against them.
“I understand that the accused police officers have been dismissed from the service, so the court should immediately obtain jurisdiction over their person, lest they be able to flee,” Guevarra said in a message to reporters.
According to the panel, the killing of the army officers was attended by treachery since the victims were “unarmed, unsuspecting and were not in a position to defend themselves when they were shot.”
However, the DOJ panel dismissed the charge of neglect of duty under the doctrine of command responsibility under Executive Order 226 against PCol. Michael Bawayan, Jr., P/Maj. Walter Annayo and P/Cpt. Ariel Corcino, the superiors of the nine Jolo policemen.