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MANILA (AFP) - Four Philippines police officers accused of murdering at least three suspects linked to a deadly bank robbery have been relieved of their duties amid an official inquiry, authorities said on Tuesday.

The officers, who were not identified, were "placed under administrative relief" while the government conducts its investigation, said national police spokesman Chief Superintendent Napoleon Bartolome.

The government's Commission on Human Rights is investigating allegations that at least three of four slain suspects could have been killed by police in cold blood.

Police said the four suspects were behind the shooting deaths of 10 people in a bank robbery in Cabuyao, a town south of Manila, on May 16. The suspects were shot dead by police in Tanauan City, near Cabuyao, six days later.

The rights commission chief, Leila de Lima, had quoted witnesses as saying three of the slain suspects were unarmed.

Police said they, along with the fourth suspect, had been killed in a firefight with the authorities.

Bartolome said the police internal affairs service was looking into claims by relatives of the slain suspects that they were victims of extrajudicial killings, but said the policemen's version of events should also be heard.

"All sides should have been interviewed but in this case, it seems that only the relatives of the victims and other witnesses in the area were interviewed," Bartolome said.

Comment: Kalooy pod adto mga pulis no? Naninguha to sila pa bilib nga solve na nila ang masakir sa RCBC...Nabati-an na sa katawhan ang ila side, maayo na kaayo to ila estorya. Naunsa ba nga gibulgar pa man ang side sa mga nakasaksi sa panhitabo sa pagpansalvage nila sa ilang mga suspect. Nabulyaso na hinoon. Sigi lang, pareho ba sa Kuratong Baliling, mapapas ra na sa panumduman sa katawhan.