MANILA – Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta has designated a new judge to take up pending matters in two Sulu regional trial courts (RTC), including the court which handles the case involving nine dismissed policemen charged over the killing of four military intelligence officers in June last year.
In Administrative Order No. 12-2021 released on Wednesday, Peralta named Judge Alsad Halil Alfad of the Siasi, Sulu RTC Branch 25 as acting judge for two other courts -- the Jolo, Sulu RTC Branch 3 and Parang, Sulu RTC Branch 4 -- and to "take cognizance of all urgent matters pending in the said courts until the return" of Judge Grace C. Tillah-Alasco and Judge Shene Canete.
Court Administrator Midas Marquez told reporters that the judges could not return yet to their posts in the province “because it was on lockdown”.
On Tuesday, the Justice department said it would ask a Sulu court for a travel ban against the nine dismissed police officers.
Last Dec. 31, Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan announced a lockdown in the province from Jan. 4 to 17 to prevent the entry of a new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) variant from the United Kingdom, which has already entered neighboring Malaysia.
Killed during the June 29, 2020 shooting were Maj. Marvin Indammog, 39; Capt. Irwin Managuelod, 33; Sgt. Jaime Velasco, 38; and Cpl. Abdal Asula, 33.
The four soldiers were tailing four terrorist suicide bombers when the shooting happened.
The nine dismissed policemen are S/Sgt. Almudzrin Hadjaruddin, Pat. Alkajal Mandangan, Pat. Rajiv Putalan, Senior M/Sgt. Abdelzhimar Padjiri, M/Sgt. Hanie U Baddiri, S/Sgt. Iskandar Susulan, S/Sgt. Ernisar Sappal, Cpl. Sulki Andaki, and Pat. Mohammad Nur Pasani. (PNA)