MANILA - The National Bureau of Investigation has filed murder and planting of evidence charges against 9 police officers who shot and killed four Philippine Army soldiers in Jolo, Sulu, last June 29.
An autopsy report showed the 4 soldiers were shot in the back.
The NBI also said a firearm was planted beside the body of Major Marvin Indammog after the shooting.
Police earlier said the soldiers, who were not wearing their uniform and were on board a sports utility vehicle, sped past a checkpoint. They allegedly pointed their guns at policemen, which prompted the clash.
The military, however, said the soldiers were in pursuit of Abu Sayyaf extremists and had identified themselves at the checkpoint.
While the 2 groups were talking, a policeman shot the soldiers' leader "without provocation" and other PNP personnel fired at the soldiers who alighted and one who was still inside the van.
Philippine Army Chief Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay earlier described the police report as "fabricated", "full of inconsistencies" and "misleading", and described the killing of his men as a "rubout."
"Hindi ito misencounter. This is murder. They were killed. Rubout ito... Wala silang armas nung lumabas nila ng sasakyan, kasi alam nilang pulis ang kausap nila eh. Tingin mo kung nagkaputukan walang pulis na tatamaan doon?" he said.
"We believe it was fabricated. Parang sine 'yung ginawa nilang kuwento... Tapos after nilang pagbabarilin, iniwan nila 'yung scene. Ganun ba ang SOP nila?" he added.
Moises Tamayo, chief of NBI-Western Mindanao regional office, earlier said it was unclear why the police officers went after the soldiers' vehicle after it left the checkpoint.