“The sin of Nuezca is not the sin of the entire Philippine National Police.”
That’s what the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) emphasized in their official statement regarding the shooting incident that involved Police Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca in Tarlac.
After a video of the incident showing Nuezca gunning down Sonya Gregorio and her son Frank Gregorio circulated online, social media blew up with condemnation. The hashtag #PulisAngTerorista was one of the topics that trended related to the incident.
In a tweet, a netizen urged others to “not be silent again” as people seek justice for the victims.
Another user shared a photo that said “Who do you call when the police murders?”
You know sometimes you wake up and hope it'll be a good morning, but then you realize you're a Filipino. Remember the victims, not the murderers! #StopTheKillingsPH#PULISANGTERORISTA#JusticeforSonyaGregorio pic.twitter.com/Z3Tx3sP1zR— Kinelee (@Kinelee3) December 21, 2020
The incident happened in Tarlac on Sunday, Dec. 20 and started when Nuezca confronted the Gregorios over the noise from their firecracker called boga. Prior to the confontation, Nuezca reportedly also had an issue with his neighbors over right of way in their area.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año stressed that “the vast majority of our PNP personnel perform their sworn duties everyday with honor and integrity to protect and serve the people.”
Año also called it as an “unfortunate but isolated incident.”
The suspect is already in the custody of the Tarlac Provincial Police. “The formal investigation into the incident has commenced and we assure the family and the public that the PNP and the National Police Commission will conduct a thorough, impartial, and swift investigation,” said Año.
Apart from the double murder charges he is currently facing, Nuezca also had six administrative cases filed against him, including grave misconduct involving homicide in 2018 and 2019. However, because of the lack of substantial evidence, the previous charges were junked.
The Philippine National Police also said it was an “isolated involvement of the person of PSSG Nuezca. In no way will such incident affect the sworn duty of the 221,000 police personnel to serve and protect the people.”
“Let me express my sincere condolences to the family of the victims, and I am extending to them any form of assistance within my power as Chief, PNP to appease their emotions in this unexpected time of grief,” PNP Chief Police General Debold Sinas said in an official statement.
In an interview on DZBB Super Radyo, Police Colonel Renante Cabico said that President Rodrigo Duterte gave a directive before allowing police officers to carry their firearms even when they are off-duty. “Actually, nagkaroon din ng directive sa ating mahal na Presidente noon na yung mga off-duty they’re allowed to carry their firearms kasi nga po may mga insidente kung saan alam naman natin na yung krimen, nangyayari sa ating hindi inaasahan,” he explained.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque disclosed in a press briefing held this afternoon, Dec. 21 that Duterte will not junk the previous order.
Article thumbnails courtesy of PRO3 and Brig. Gen. De Leon