The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Tuesday filed murder charges against nine policemen accused of killing four Army intelligence officers pursuing an Abu Sayyaf suicide bomber last 29 June.
Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the NBI endorsed the complaint filed by the relatives of the victims with the DoJ which is expected to conduct a preliminary investigation of the incident.
Charged with four counts of murder and planting of evidence were Police S/MS Abdelzhimar Pajiri, M/S Hanie Badirri, S/Sgts. Iskandar Susulan, Ernisar Sappal and Almudzrin Hadjaruddin, Cpl. Sulki Andaki and Patrolmen Muhammad Nur Pasani, Rajiv Putalan and Alkajal Mandangan.
Hadjaruddin, Mandangan and Putalan are members of the Sulu provincial drug enforcement unit.
The nine accused cops are currently under the custody of the PNP Headquarters Support Service in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Murder is a non-bailable offense under the Revised Penal Code.
The NBI also sought the prosecution of Sulu police provincial office chief Col. Michael Bawayan, Jolo police chief Maj. Walter Annayo and Sulu Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit chief Capt. Ariel Corcino for neglect of duty.
The nine policemen had refused to submit a statement to the NBI which is investigating the shooting dead of Army Maj. Marvin Indammog, Capt. Irwin Managuelod, Sgt. Eric Velasco and Cpl. Abdul Asula.
NBI Deputy Director for Regional Operations Services Antonio Pagatpat said it is their constitutional rights not to submit a statement to the investigators.
Pagatpat said the policemen told the NBI they would answer the allegations once a case is filed before the DoJ.
Earlier, Guevarra said the initial report submitted by the NBI field agents to his office showed that the victims sustained mostly bullet wounds on the back.
Military leaders had accused the police officers of executing the victims contrary to their claim of a misencounter.
The NBI initial report also contained the accounts of 10 witnesses, the forensic findings of the medico-legal and ballistic experts, and the affidavits of the family members of the deceased Army intelligence officers.