Jolo police chief sacked over fatal shooting of troops

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 2) — The chief of Jolo Police was relieved from his post over the fatal shooting of four Army troops by policemen, the Philippine National Police confirmed on Thursday.

PNP spokesperson Bernard Banac said Lieutenant Colonel Walter Annayo was relieved as part of command responsibility for the actions of his nine men.

Those killed in the shooting incident in Jolo, Sulu on Monday were Maj. Marvin Indammog, Cpt. Irwin Managuelod, Sgt. Jaime Velasco, and Cpl. Abdal Asula — all from the Army’s 9th Intelligence Service Unit of the 11th Infantry Division.

Initial reports from the Sulu Provincial Police Office said the cops involved claimed self-defense, after the soldiers supposedly lifted and pointed their firearms first at the police. But Army Chief Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay said it was a rubout and his men were "murdered" by the police personnel.

PNP later ruled out the "misencounter" angle in the shooting incident. Banac said that based on their analysis of reports on the ground, the soldiers did not fire a single shot at the police. He added that the local police may have failed to preserve the crime scene.

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to speed up its investigation. He also sought a meeting with the nine cops tagged in the incident, said his spokesman, Harry Roque.

Duterte doesn’t want the issue to escalate further, joining calls from top military and police leaders for calm among the PNP and Army’s ranks, according to Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana.

The PNP-Internal Affairs Service is also conducting its own probe with the National Police Commission.