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OVERKILL?

HPG cops involved in killing of motorcyclist may face murder raps


 

Two members of the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) may face murder, robbery, and administrative charges for the killing of a motorcyclist who allegedly resisted arrest following a road accident in Makati City last Friday.

Police Officer 2 Jonjie Manon-og and PO3 Jeremiah De Villa had been placed under restrictive custody as they face investigation in connection with the death of John Dela Riarte, GMA News' Steve Dailisan said in a "24 Oras" report on Tuesday.

Two MMDA constables who aided Manon-og and De Villa in subduing Dela Riarte before the latter was bundled into the HPG patrol car are also being probed.

Public Attorney's Office chief Persida Acosta viewed the incident as overkill being shown a video of the 27-year-old's arrest.

Taken by a concerned citizen, the video shows an MMDA constable and HPG member holding Dela Riarte.

Moments later, another policeman who was seen carrying a firearm moved closer to Dela Riarte and punched him in the stomach.

Another MMDA constable went toward Dela Riarte and ordered him to stand behind a plastic barrier.

As the HPG men were putting the handcuffs on him, a police officer pulled Dela Riarte, causing him to lean backward and scream in pain.

Dela Riarte was already in handcuffs and pinned to the ground when a policeman returned to slap him in the face.

Later on Dela Riarte was forced into the HPG police car, where he reportedly continued to be aggressive. Dela Riarte allegedly headbutted Manon-og and grabbed the latter's gun. This compelled De Villa, to shoot Dela Riarte twice.

The autopsy report, however, showed Dela Riarte was shot four times, three of them fatal.

"Mali dito iyong mga pulis. Naka handcuff na, nakatalikod, paano makapang-agaw? Bakit nila pinatay? Bakit pinapatay o pinatay? Kasi sa puso binaril saka dito sa leeg," said Acosta.

Cry for justice

Dela Riarte's brother, Robert, cried for justice.

"Kung masama lang akong tao, kukuha ako ng baril. Sila ang babarilin ko. Kailangan muna namin makakit ang hustisya saka ko na isipin ang magpatawad," Robert said.

Robert also accused the policemen of robbing Dela Riarte's belongings including P33,000 in cash and a ring.

"Ano 'to ninakawan niyo po ang kapatid ko? Kaya siguro tinatago niyo pa at sinasabi na 'wag kami magpa-media," he said.

HPG spokesperson Police Supt. Elizabeth Vasquez extended her sympathies to the family.

"Nakikiramay kami doon sa nangyari. Wala namang gumusto nito," she said.

Vasquez said the HPG personnel should have exercised maximum tolerance when dealing with an unruly person.

"Base dun sa video hindi dapat ganun. Dapat maximum tolerance. Ang importante lang dito ma-subdue 'yung isang tao kung talaga unruly. Ang importante lang naman reasonable force para medyo ma-pacify lang siya," she said.

Vasquez also assured there would be no whitewash in the investigation on the shooting incident.

"Kung ano man po ang tunay na nangyari kung may pananagutan ang HPG, ang mga tao namin, tatanggapin namin yun. Wala naman mangyayari ditong takipan," she said. —Virgil Lopez/JST, GMA News

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