NBI urged to look into possible tampering of CCTV footage of Sulu shooting

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 6)— Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday said he has suggested for authorities— including the National Bureau of Investigation— to look into the possible tampering of the CCTV footage of last week’s shooting incident in Jolo, Sulu, which left four Philippine Army officers dead.

This comes amid worries that the clip of the actual shooting has been missing from the files.

Speaking to CNN Philippines, Año said he is not dismissing the possibility that the said portion of the CCTV footage had been deleted, given that the clips of other parts of the incident— including the aftermath— have already been making rounds online.

READ: Army admits: Lapses found in crime scene of Sulu shooting

Ang tinitingnan natin dito dalawa, either coincidental na tumama sa poste ‘yung view, and number two, merong nagbura ng ibang part ng CCTV,” Año said in an interview with The Source.

“I suggested to the NBI, identify kung sino ba talaga ‘yung in charge diyan sa pag-manage ng CCTV, identify and determine kung meron bang nagdelete diyan ng portion… Hindi matatapos ang investigation kung may mga unanswered questions,” he added.

[Translation: We’re looking at two things— either the camera view coincidentally pointed at the post, and number two, someone deleted a part of the CCTV. I suggested to the NBI to identify who was in charge of managing the CCTV, identify and determine if someone indeed deleted that portion. The investigation will not be finished if there are unanswered questions.]

The Interior chief, however, remains hopeful that all these inquiries will be cleared once NBI’s third party probe wraps up.

The four slain Army officers—all from the 9th Intelligence Service Unit of the 11th Infantry Division— were gunned down by local Jolo cops, who had first claimed self defense. The Philippine National Police later ruled out the "misencounter" angle, saying that based on their analysis of reports on the ground, the soldiers did not fire a single shot at the police.

The PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have meanwhile started the operational review of the existing interoperability measures between the two agencies following the incident.

PNP chief PGen Archie Gamboa said authorities will look into the strategic and tactical organizational policies— especially the coordination measures between the security forces— as they seek to prevent a similar incident from happening again in the future.

In a bid to “reduce the tension” between the agencies, President Rodrigo Duterte earlier flew to Zamboanga City to meet with the forces, as he talked to the cops involved in the shooting incident. He likewise appealed to the soldiers to instead direct their attention on the mission to catch bandits and rebels, while investigation is ongoing.

RELATED: Duterte appeals to soldiers: Remain calm pending probe on Jolo killing

The police personnel— who have been disarmed and placed under restrictive custody— are meanwhile set to be transported to Camp Crame in the coming days, DILG said.