National

4 soldiers killed in 'misencounter' with police in Jolo

4 soldiers killed in 'misencounter' with police in Jolo

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — An Army intelligence officer and three of his personnel were killed in what is being described as a "misencounter" against police in  Jolo, the capital town of Sulu, on Monday afternoon.

The Sulu Police Provincial Office, in a report to the Police Regional Office of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, identified the fatalities as officers and personnel of the Army's intelligence unit.

The SPPO said personnel of the Jolo Municipal Police Station and the Police Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU) were on patrol at Barangay Bus-bus in Jolo when they spotted a gray SUV with four armed men on board.

The police immediately "accosted" the armed men, who were reportedly in civilian attire, and directed them to proceed to the Jolo Municipal Police Station for verification.

However, upon arrival at the police station, the unidentified men fled in their SUV towards Martirez in Barangay San Raymundo.

Police gave chase and caught up with them and said the four got out of the vehicle and pointed guns at them. Sulu provincial police said police personnel shot at the four men, triggering a firefight.

Jolo police identified the fatalities as Maj. Marvin Indamog, commanding officer of 9th Intelligence Service Unit (ISU); Capt. Irwin Managuelod, Sgt. Eric Velasco, and Cpl. Abdal Asula.

The SPPO said further investigation found that the soldiers were conducting an intelligence operation in the area to locate reported suicide bombers under the group of Abu Sayyaf leader Mundi Sawadjaan. The operations was done with the coordination of Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS) and the 11th Infantry Division.

Neither the military in Sulu nor the Western Mindanao Command has released a statement on the reported "misencounter" as of this post.

In June 2018, a "misencounter" between police and military personnel left six police officers dead and nine others wounded in Sta. Rita, Samar.