PNP CHIEF Gen. Debold Sinas yesterday said the nine dismissed policemen who are accused of killing four Army intelligence personnel in Jolo town in Sulu in June last year are still in the province.
In an ambush interview in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, Sinas said the PNP is using a two-pronged approach in bringing the suspects to the bar of justice — manhunt operations for their arrest and negotiations to convince them to surrender.
Sinas was Taguig City to attend the “National Day of Remembrance for the Gallant SAF 44,” or the 44 PNP Special Action Force commandos slain by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao on Jan. 25, 2015.
“According to the last report, they are in Jolo, all of them went back to Jolo (after their release),” said Sinas of the nine policemen who released from a detention facility in Camp Crame early this month.
They were freed because they have been dismissed from the service in connection with the administrative aspect of the case and there was no arrest warrant against them at that time. They have been charged with murder and planting of evidence. It was only on January 14 when the court issued the arrest warrants.
“The manhunt is being conducted in Jolo… We are negotiating with some who want to surrender… I say as long as they will surrender, we have no problem with that. But the manhunt is ongoing,” said Sinas.
Asked how many of the policemen have sent surrender feelers, Sinas said: “I cannot discuss that to you openly.” Last week, he said five to six of the policemen signified their intent to to surrender.
Sinas said the suspects are being pursued by tracker teams from the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, PNP Intelligence Group and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao regional police.