PNP, AFP agree to let NBI lead Sulu probe

Rambo Talabong
PNP, AFP agree to let NBI lead Sulu probe
Police and military officials seek 'impartiality' in the investigation into the encounter between police and soldiers that led to the death of 4 military intelligence officers

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have agreed on letting the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) lead the probe into the encounter between police and soldiers in Sulu that led to the death of 4 military intelligence officers.

“The PNP and AFP officials in Sulu have agreed that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) regional office in Zamboanga City will conduct and lead the investigation to ensure impartiality and to eliminate any suspicion of undue influence,” the PNP said in a statement on Monday evening, June 29. 

What happened? Sulu cops gunned down 4 AFP soldiers on Monday afternoon following an alleged confrontation and car chase in the provincial capital of Sulu. Cops said the soldiers took out guns, forcing them to fire back and kill them. 

The AFP disputed the narrative, saying that their soldiers were “fired upon” while they were “doing their work.” The military said those slain were a major, a captain, a sergeant, and a corporal – all from an intelligence unit of the Army.

Why does this matter? The agreement is an early display of commitment from both the police and the military to avoid influencing the probe.

Still, PNP chief General Archie Gamboa ordered Bangsamoro police chief Brigadier General Manuel Abu “to extend full administrative and operational support to the NBI.” 

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año also earlier said that the PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group will initiate its own probe. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.