June 30, 2020
ZAMBOANGA CITY - Police shot dead an Army major, captain and two soldiers in an alleged shootout Monday in Jolo.
In Manila, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana described this as ''very unfortunate incident.'' He said the National Bureau of Investigation in Zamboanga will conduct inquiry.
Lorenzana begged off from additional comments '' while inquiry is ongoing.'' He added details are ''very hazy'' and that an incident report is all they have.
Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), said: “We (have) yet to establish the motive of the police.''
We don’t want any escalation of hostilities out of the incident. Our interest is to know the facts and justice will be given,'' added Sobejana.
The incident happened around 2:30 pm Monday in Jolo, capital of Sulu.
Dead were Major Marvin Indamog, commander of the 9th Intelligence Service Unit (ISU); Captain Irwin Managuelod, field service commander of the same unit; Sgt. Eric Velasco; and, Cpl. Abdal Asula, both personnel of the 9 th ISU.
The Army’s 1st Infantry Division said the four were on a sports utility vehicle (SUV) conducting an intelligence operation to find reported suicide bombers under Abu Sayyaf leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan in Jolo.
The intelligence officers parked their vehicle in front of the Jolo Fire Station, some 30 meters away from police headquarters.
The policemen approached the SUV and opened fire that resulted in the death of the four, the Army said.
In a spot report, police spotted a gray SUV Montero with four armed men. Police accosted them, and the four introduced themselves as members of the military.
Police asked them to proceed to the Jolo Municipal Police Station for verification.
''Upon arrival thereat, the said persons fled with the SUV towards Martirez, Barangay San Raymundo, Jolo. When the PNP personnel chased them, the said persons disembarked (from) their vehicle with their firearms,'' the police report said.
''The said persons lifted and pointed their firearms towards the PNP personnel. However before they could pull the trigger, the PNP personnel were able to shoot them in defense. Thus an exchange of gunfire ensued which resulted to the death of the four armed men,'' the police report said. DMS-Robina Asido
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