MANILA - Soldiers from the military's 1st Special Forces Battalion were involved in the alleged shootout in Quezon province that left 13 people dead, an Armed Forces official said Wednesday.
Southern Luzon Command spokesman Col. Generoso Bolina said a platoon, or about 25 personnel from the battallion under the command of Lt. Col. Monico Abang joined the police team that killed the 13 people.
Bolina said Solcom commander Maj. Gen. Alan Luga has ordered a fact-finding investigation to determine the extent of the involvement of the soldiers in the incident.
The Special Forces troops, however, won't be relieved from their posts pending the results of the probe, he said.
"He (Luga) gave instructions to coordinate with the Philippine Army for the conduct of the fact-finding investigation. It is to determine the extent of their participation. (It will help us) decide actions to take," Bolina said.
He said the Special Forces troops' presence in the police checkpoint was "legitimate."
"What we saw is that their participation was is a legitimate [one]. Their participation was requested by the PNP…What we saw is that their participation was within the legal bounds, through the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center," Bolina said.