The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will soon file a criminal complaint against the police involved in the killing of four soldiers in Jolo, Sulu last June.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Tuesday the NBI has submitted an initial investigation report and may file a criminal complaint before the Department of Justice (DOJ) “very soon” unless it intends to submit a supplemental report.
Guevarra said the report contains the accounts of 10 witnesses, the forensic findings of medico-legal and ballistic experts, and the affidavits of the families of the Army intelligence officers who died.
“The ballistic report clearly indicated that the shells and slugs found at the scene of the crime matched the firearms of the police officers involved, and that the bullet wounds were mostly on the back of the body, with one soldier sustaining eight wounds,” Guevarra said.
The NBI earlier said their forensic examination showed one soldier suffered eight gunshot wounds, and that three gunshot wounds were found on the other two. The fourth soldier was immediately buried in accordance with Islamic tradition.
Guevarra said the NBI has not told him what charges will be filed. “It will depend on the totality of the evidence gathered,” he said.
Four soldiers were killed by police officers in Jolo on June 29.
The soldiers were on official mission tracking alleged suicide bombers when they were flagged down by police in Barangay Walled City.
Despite identifying themselves as members of the military, the soldiers were told to go to the police station for further verification of their identities.
According to a police report, the cops fired at the soldiers when the latter, who allegedly escaped, pointed their weapons at the officers.
Claiming the soldiers never fired, Philippine Army chief Lieutenant General Gilbert Gapay said the incident was murder. The Philippine National Police (PNP) calls it a “shooting incident,” though initially referred to it as a “misencounter.”
A complaint filed before the DOJ will be investigated by prosecutors, who will determine whether or not to file charges against the respondents in court.
The policemen involved in the incident will go to the NBI on Wednesday for investigation./Stacy Ang