MANILA – Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Wednesday it was “not fair” to judge and blame the entire police force for an isolated incident involving an off-duty police officer who shot dead a mother and her son in Paniqui, Tarlac last Sunday.
Año made the remark, saying the case of Police MSgt. Jonel Nuezca, who went berserk and shot dead Sonya Gregorio and her son Frank Anthony, does not reflect the behavior of the majority of cops who are dedicated to their jobs.
“Maraming magagandang deeds kahit hindi on official duty ang ating kapulisan. Kaya it’s not fair naman na sasabihin mo bakit ang pulis natin. Isa lang ‘yan eh, nakakulong na ‘yan (Our police officers have many good deeds, even when they are off-duty. So it is not fair to judge them. He’s just one of the few and he’s in jail),” Año said in a radio interview.
“Bakit natin sinabing isolated case? Kasi ang nangyayari kasi gine-generalize nila ‘yung mga pulis natin. Papaano naman ‘yung matitinong pulis natin? 99 percent na matitino na sila ‘yung nagpapatupad ng quarantine protocols, sila ‘yung nakikipaglaban sa criminal (Why is it an isolated case? What is happening is that the entire police force is being generalized. But what about the 99 percent who are well behaved? They are the ones enforcing the quarantine protocols and fighting criminals).”
Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Gen. Debold Sinas, has ordered the investigators to assist the witnesses in applying for the witness protection program (WPP) of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Sinas said they would ask permission from witnesses to use the original video as evidence in the murder case filed against Nuezca.
“We encouraged the investigators na lahat ‘yung mga witness doon ay i-apply namin sa WPP (that all witnesses be applied under the WPP). So we will be coordinating with the DOJ baka ma-consider nila (they might consider) because of the gravity of the offense, double murder, at saka ‘yung (and) how it was done,” he said.
Sinas paid his respects to the deceased, assuring the Gregorio family of swift and decisive action on the case.
Citing the results of an initial discussion with PNP neuropsychiatrists, he said what happened in Tarlac was a case of mishandling a confrontation due to a sudden burst of anger.
He said this was manifested by Nuezca himself when he decided to surrender and face the charges, apparently after his anger simmered down.
“Accordingly, he surrendered because wala siyang plano tumakbo. He surrendered dahil nga sising-sisi siya sa nangyari. Pero hindi naman yan magbibigay ng dahilan. Kaya lang daw siya sumurender, based sa account ng regional director at director ng crime lab na kumausap sa kanya, dahil sising sisi siya, nagdilim lang daw ‘yung pag-iisip niya at umalis siya at naawa din siya sa pamilya niya (He surrendered, he does not plan to hide. Based on the account of the regional director and the director of the crime lab who spoke to him, he was remorseful, that is why he surrendered. He said he pitied his family),” Sinas said.
On Monday, murder charges against Nuezca were filed before a Tarlac Regional Trial Court.
Prosecutors did not recommend bail for the suspect. (PNA)