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Bato mayor wants chief of police replaced over comments on Tarlac slays

Bato, Catanduanes Mayor Juan Rodulfo on Monday wants the chief of police in his town replaced over Police Captain Ariel Buraga's comments on a policeman’s killing of a mother and son in Tarlac.

In a letter addressed to Philippine National Police (PNP) provincial director Police Colonel Brian Castillo, Rodulfo said Buraga “should have exercised restraint and prudence” instead of publishing his thoughts on the Tarlac killings on Facebook.

Buraga had said in the now-deleted post that citizens should respect police officers.

"Lesson learn kahit puti na ang buhok o ubanin na tayo eh matuto tayo rumespeto sa ating mga kapulisan. Mahirap kalaban ang pagtitimpi at pagpapasensya," the post read.

For Rodulfo, the comments were uncalled for.

“Much as we respect his right to publicly pronounce his personal opinion regarding the killings… he should let the PNP's investigation into the matter run its natural course so that the truth about the tragedy would emerge,” Rodulfo said.

“We will highly appreciate it if the PNP could assign another chief of police in this municipality to assuage the fears of the constituents of this LGU of a seemingly biased chief of police whose loyalty it seems, rests primarily with his fellow policemen than with the constituents in his area of responsibility," he added.

Police Senior Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca was indicted for two counts of murder for the killing of Sonya Rufino Gregorio, 52, and Frank Anthony Rufino Gregorio, 25. The heated confrontation that led to the victims’ shooting was caught on video by a witness.

The Human Rights Watch said such killings were the “inevitable result” of the government’s supposed failure to hold erring law enforcers accountable.

Sought for comment as regards the criticisms online against him, Buraga told GMA News Online that his post was not meant to blame the victims.

He explained that he just pointed out that the shooting would not have happened if respect was accorded.

"Hindi ko sinisisi 'yung mag-ina doon. Ang point ko doon is kawalan ng respeto kaya umabot sa ganoong punto, siguro kung may respeto sila sa bawat isa, hindi siguro hahantong sa ganoong pangyayari," Buraga said.ed.

Buraga said he condemned the action of Nuezca.

"Wala naman akong malisya sa aking post doon. Hindi ko sinasabing tama 'yung ginawa ng pulis doon, kinocondemn ko talaga 'yung pulis sa ginawa niya. Mali naman talaga 'yung pulis doon," Buraga said. -NB, GMA News