Samar ‘misencounter’ not an ambush: AFP official

MANILA — The misencounter between soldiers and police officers in Sta. Rita, Samar last June 25 is not an ambush.

This was disclosed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) inspector general, Lt. Gen. Rafael Valencia, in an interview Sunday.

“Technically ang sabi ko (what I said is), all the elements of an ambush are not present, all the elements are not present (but) that is only the point of view of the Army,” he said.

“Wala yung elements ng ambush dun (There are no elements of ambush there) but it will be officially decided by the AFP and the PNP BOI,” the AFP inspector general stressed.

Valencia is also the head of the joint AFP-PNP Board of Inquiry on the misencounter which claimed the lives of six police officers and wounded nine others. Joining him is Police Director Fernando Felix.

The military official added that the PNP has the chance or opportunity to disapprove of this angle should the latter be able to submit documents or pictures or facts.

“Isang critical factor nga sa ambush, (ay dapat) naka-preposition yung ambushers and usually moving yung target nila (One critical factor in an ambush is that ambushers must be pre-positioned and usually their target is moving), at that time it was actually the Army troops who are moving and then naabutan nila dun sa lugar yung naka-halt na, (yung) temporarily halted na PNP personnel, parang ganun ang nangyari (they chanced upon in the area the PNP personnel who were temporarily halted there. It seems this was the scenario),” Valencia emphasized.

Also, he added that they are investigating possible lapses in protocols and coordination between the Army and police units involved in the tragic incident.

Valencia also said he expects the report to be out by Wednesday.

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