Año orders cops in Jolo ‘misencounter’ disarmed

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año ordered Monday to disarm the cops involved in Jolo ‘misencounter’ which killed four soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Año also ordered to put the officers under the custody of the Sulu Provincial Police Director.

“I already gave instructions to Police General Archie Gamboa to disarm the policemen involved, restrict them under the custody of the Sulu Provincial Director. They will be investigated by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), and I will request a parallel investigation by the [National Bureau of Investigation],” said Año.

The DILG Chief also urged NBI to “leave no stone unturned” in their probe into the alleged misencounter between the PNP and the AFP personnel.

Año characterized the incident as “very unfortunate” and that the killings “should have not happened.”

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have been working closely in the fight against the terrorists. I want to know what really happened, and no stone must be left unturned,” he said.

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The initial report of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the Philippine National Police, Jolo Municipal Police Station (MPS), and Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit cops were on patrol in Barangay Bus-Bus when they spotted a Gray Montero SUV at around 2:40 pm Monday. Onboard the vehicle are four men.

The said four men identified themselves as AFP members. Out of suspicion, the officers stopped SUV and ordered its passengers to proceed to the Jolo police station “for verification.”

When they arrived at the station, the four men fled going to the direction of Barangay San Raymundo, said the report.

The four men eventually stopped and were already armed when they disembarked.

“The said persons lifted and pointed their firearms towards PNP personnel; However, before they could pull the trigger, the PNP personnel were able to shoot them in defense,” the report said.

The four were all dead on the spot and have not been identified.

Meanwhile, AFP Western Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana gave a different version of the incident and said the killed AFP soldiers were “doing their work” aboard their SUV when the Sulu cops at them.