Murder charges is being readied against the policeman caught on video shooting a man and his mother in Paniqui, Tarlac, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said Monday.
“That is plain simple cold murder… Napakalinaw naman na hindi lumalaban ang victims,” Año said when sought for comment on the story and video published on Tribune.net Sunday night.
Año said the policeman in the video, identified as SMSgt. Jonel Nuezca, will also be facing an administrative case “for his dismissal from the service.”
The video showed Nuezca shooting Sonya Gregorio, 52, and her son Frank Anthony, 25, in Purok 2, Brgy. Cabayaoasan, past 5 p.m. Sunday.
Nuezca, a resident of that area, reportedly surrendered to police in Rosales, Pangasinan, after the incident and has since been turned over to police in Paniqui.
Nuezca, assigned at the Parañaque City Crime Laboratory, brought with him his government-issued caliber-.9mm pistol which he used to shoot the Gregorios.
“He is now under custody of the chief of police of Paniqui,” Año said.
In a statement sent to media later, the DILG chief said formal investigation into the incident has commenced. He assured the victims’ family and the public that the PNP and the National Police Commission will conduct a thorough, impartial, and swift investigation.
“We do not and will never tolerate such acts and we will make sure that he will account for his crimes.”
Año also directed PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas to extend assistance to the victims’ family of the victims.
The DILG chief, meanwhile, reminded all police officers to “remain calm at all times, control their emotions, and conduct themselves in a manner befitting their position as agents of the law.”
“This is an unfortunate but isolated incident. While there are unfortunate incidents like this, the vast majority of our PNP personnel perform their sworn duties every day with honor and integrity to protect and serve the people.”
“The sin of Nuezca is not the sin of the entire Philippine National Police. As we have seen during this pandemic, they place their very lives on the line as frontliners in our COVID response.”
Sunday’s incident in Paniqui came just days after two members of the Cordillera regional police’s anti-drug unit were identified as suspects in the abduction and beheading of a driver from Baguio City.
The abduction of Harjan Lagman, which happened on 11 November, was also caught on video. His decapitated body was found the next day in Tublay, Benguet.
Police in Cordillera admittedly suffered “low morale” because of that incident, which also resulted in the disbandment of the Regional Drug Enforcement Unit.