The Armed Forces of the Philippines welcomed the findings of the Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service recommending the dismissal of nine police officers involved in the June 29 shooting of four military intelligence operatives in Jolo, Sulu.
In a statement, AFP spokesman Edgard Arevalo said the military was still waiting for the criminal case against the suspects to start rolling.
"The AFP welcomes the reported recommendation by PNP-IAS to separate the perpetrators from the PNP service. And if ever that recommendation will be adopted, it is but an administrative penalty," Arevalo said.
But Philippine National Police Chief Debold Sinas on Monday said there was no final decision yet on the Internal Affairs Service's recommendation to have the policemen involved in the Jolo shooting incident be separated from the service.
"Wala pa po. Hindi pa po umabot sa opisina ko. I don't know kung sino ang naglabas ng recommendations na 'yun, supposed to be hindi dapat basta-basta nilabas kasi hindi pa nga namin na-approve 'yun," Sinas said in a press briefing.
"Baka [in] transit pa 'yun. May dadaanan pang mga opisina 'yun at kung bago man dumating sa atin 'yun ay papa-review pa natin sa legal officer namin kung ano ang appropriate."
Killed in the June 29 incident in Jolo ere 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 nine Jolo police officers.
Arevalo said the AFP was still looking forward to the two-fold criminal and civil liabilities of those involved in the murder of their intelligence operatives.
"We are anxiously waiting for that day that such a verdict will be reached to begin from the filing of the cases, trial, and decision rendered by a competent court," Arevalo said.
Also, he added, the AFP would not renege on its commitment to the victims and their loved ones to pursue justice for them until it was served judiciously and with due haste.
"This is the same covenant that the AFP chief Gen. Gilbert Gapay has with our personnel, that the AFP leadership will look after their well-being and welfare as they perform their tasks dutifully and with utter disregard of their own safety or comfort," Arevalo said.