PNP links soldier slain in Sulu shooting to illegal drugs

The Philippine National Police (PNP) accused one of the 4 Army intelligence officers killed in the Jolo, Sulu encounter of being involved in illegal drugs.

On Wednesday, August 19, Bangsamoro police chief Brigadier General Manuel Abu said that Army Corporal Abdal Asula was included in a drug matrix on the basis of his relatives supposedly being involved in the illegal drug trade.

"Several relatives of Cpl Asula were arrested and some were killed by PDEU (Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit), Sulu in the conduct of anti-illegal drugs operations earlier," Abu said, reading his presentation.

Abu made the presentation before the Senate committees on public order and dangerous drugs, and national defense and security, which are conducting a legislative probe into the incident.

The police general said Asula had a brother who was slain by cops in an anti-drug operation on March 14, 2020.

It is unclear whether the police have information of direct involvement in the drug trade against Abdal Asula. (READ: NBI confirms intel soldier unarmed when cops shot him dead in Jolo)

Abu then hit the military for working with someone the police considered a drug suspect.

Armed Forces chief of staff Lieutenant General Gilbert Gapay asked public order and dangerous drugs committee chair, former PNP chief turned Senator Ronald "Bato" de la Rosa, permission to present the military's investigation report, apparently to debunk Abu's findings.

However, the hearing was suspended to make way for the Senate's regular session. De la Rosa instead asked Gapay to submit the military's findings to the committee. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.