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Unforgettable stories I have written

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Over the years, I have been writing stories for what I consider to be my second family — the Daily Tribune.

Some of the stories I have written I will definitely never forget because these were the several times our police were involved in crimes. Despite this, our countrymen still have trust in them.

Remember the case of PSMS Jonel Nuezca, 46, an active member of the Philippine National Police (PNP), who shot dead two unarmed victims, a mother and her son, at point-blank range on a Sunday afternoon in Paniqui, Tarlac.

The shooting incident, which happened on 20 December 2020 was captured on video and showed Nuezca engaged in a heated confrontation with the victims before drawing his handgun and shooting the two.

He surrendered at Rosales police station in Pangasinan about an hour after the incident. He was arrested and was charged with murder.

This was followed by a story that is not so different from Nuezca’s case. It involved a PNP member whose horrific killing of a woman in Quezon City also went viral on video.

The victim, Lilibeth Valdez, 52, asked PMS Hensie Zinampan what he was thinking waiting for her with a drawn firearm, when he suddenly pulled her hair and shot her in the neck.

Zinampan was immediately placed under the PNP’s Internal Affairs division and was subject to summary dismissal procedures, while the Quezon City Police District filed murder charges against him.

Another cop who killed his brother in uniform was first reported as an alleged accidental shooting in Quezon City. A witness later on broke his silence and admitted the victim was actually shot by one of their drinking buddies.

Originally reported as a suicide and later on as an accidental shooting, driver Lorenzo Lapay finally admitted P/Cpl. Higino Wayan was shot by P/Cpl. Sherwin Rebot after he lost to the victim in an arm-wrestling match on 1 June 2021.

Based on the updated report of the Quezon City Police District Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit under the leadership of P/Lt. Col. Elmer Monsalve, Lapay confessed what really happened following the investigation by Pat. Nestor Ariz.

Most of all, I also spent almost a few days watching the very law enforcement officers who enforce anti-drug laws clashing against an illegal drug operation, in what has come to be known as the PNP-Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) clash.

PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar looked back at the incident with PDEA chief Wilkins Villanueva to further iron out “gaps” in the coordination of the two agencies, following the near “misencounter” in Quezon City.

Anti-drug operatives of Quezon City Police District Station 4 and PDEA agents figured in an incident of apparent miscommunication at the parking lot of a mall in Quezon City.

Eleazar said courtesy eventually prevailed and communication prevented a repeat of the bloody “misencounter” last 24 February along Commonwealth Avenue, also in Quezon City, where at least four people from the PNP and PDEA died and four more were injured in the incident.

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