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Target talaga? Clan war, drugs might be motive for Sulu cops’ shooting of soldiers- report

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Rido or clan war could’ve been the motive behind the fatal shooting of four army officers in Jolo, Sulu by local policemen earlier this week, Philippine Star columnist Jarius Bondoc said.

In his July 3 column, Bondoc urged authorities investigating the shooting incident to look into the possible relationship between the soldiers and cops.

“An angle to be looked into is ‘rido’ or clan war, a frequent outbreak in Sulu. The nine cops are locals, as is usual in PNP field staffing. So is slain Corporal Asula. Investigators must scan records for recent civilian clashes and possible kinship to the cops and soldier,” he said, referring to Cpl. Abdal Asula, one of the casualties.

Bondoc said illegal drugs could also be an angle because the police included one of its anti-narcotics operatives in the incident report.

The military said the soldiers were tracking down suspected suicide bombers when they were flagged down by the policemen.

According to the police report, the soldiers were directed to go to a nearby police station for further verification even after they identified themsleves as military officers.

Cops claimed the soldiers tried to escape instead of heading to the police station, so they were chased. The soldiers allegedly pointed their weapons at the police, prompting cops to fire at them.

Bondoc, however, quoted a police general as telling him that the police’s account of the incident “read like action-fiction.”

“Even if the pursuers were quick, it would have taken them several seconds to draw their own weapons, cock and aim. By then, the pursued would have already fired in a split second and felled the pursuers. That’s what happens in a gunfight, whether or not the soldiers had marksmanship training,” the police general said.

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