PNP to file case vs cops if there is proof of irregularity in suspect’s death
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) said Thursday that cases can be filed against the policemen involved in the death of the suspect in the murder of an octogenarian couple while he was inside a police car if there is proof of irregularity.
Carl Joseph Alarin Bañanola, the suspect in the murder of Nicolas Austria and wife Leonora in Novaliches on Sunday, was killed Wednesday night after he allegedly tried to grab the firearm of a policeman escorting him to the headquarters of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD).
Police claimed the suspect requested them to loosen his handcuff since he was “grimacing in pain,” a request that personnel of the Novaliches Police Station (PS-4) granted.
A gun scuffle then allegedly ensued, prompting Lt. Col. Rossel Cejas, PS-4 commander, to fire at the suspect himself, as he sensed that the lives of his subordinates are in danger.
There were four officers inside the police mobile, Cejas told INQUIRER.net.
Bañanola died upon arrival at a hospital due to gunshot wounds on his chest and leg. It had only been a day since he was arrested on Tuesday.
In a press briefing at Camp Crame, PNP spokesperson Police Col. Bernard Banac said an investigation is ongoing at the station-level to determine what really happened inside the police car.
“Kapag meron pong enough evidence na magsasabi on the contrary, sila po ay makakasuhan ng, unang-una administrative case, pangalawa, pag napatunayan din na may ebidensya, sila po ay makakasuhan ng pagpatay,” he said.
(If there is enough evidence to prove the contrary, cases will be filed. Aside from the administrative case, if there is evidence, they can also be charged for murder.)
When asked if the investigation at the Novaliches Police Station would not raise doubts on the credibility of the probe, he said QCPD Director Joselito Esquivel Jr. can also call for an investigation if he deems it necessary.
But despite previous cases of suspects being killed in police custody, Banac maintained that the death of Bañanola is an isolated case.
“‘Yung insidente na namatay ang suspect under the custody of the police ay isolated lamang at hindi nagpapakita ng buong larawan ng ating paghahandle ng mga suspects under our custody,” he said.
(The incident involving the death of the suspect under the custody of the police is an isolated case. This does not give a full picture of how the police handle suspects under our custody.)
He also assured that the PNP, as a professional organization, “always accords suspects under custody with proper protection and utmost respect for human rights.” (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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