Gov’t prosecutors told to prepare for Nuezca’s possible insanity defense
MANILA, Philippines — Government prosecutors should be ready to assail and demolish any possible insanity defense of that Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca might later plead in the progression of his case, a lawmaker said Tuesday.
Nuezca is the Parañaque cop who was caught on video in the act of shooting pointblank his neighbor and her son in Tarlac after a heated altercation. He has recently been dismissed from police service.
Iligan City Rep. Frederick Siao, who serves as the vice chairperson of the House committee on public order and safety, said given the “not guilty” plea that Nuezca made before the court, “we can most probably expect an insanity defense by his legal counsel in the coming weeks.”
“Nuezca’s lawyers will try to put forward the insanity defense. They will try to convince the public that Nuezca ‘lost his mind,’ had a ‘psychotic episode,’ or ‘nagdilim ang paningin’ moments before he shot in the head and instantly killed Sonya Gregorio and Frank Gregorio,” Siao said in a statement.
Siao, however, said that he still expects Nuezca and his legal counsel’s defense to fail.
“The viral video of the murder is clear and plain to see. All the necessary elements of the crime of murder are there. In my view Nuezca and his lawyers will fail at their insanity defense,” the lawmaker said.
Siao said Nuezca’s lawyers could try to use eyewitness testimony and might have some psychologist or psychiatrist or pastor or priest of “whatever church to come forward to publicly state a compassionate assessment of Nuezca’s mental health.”
“Nuezca’s lawyer’s might point out that the viral video did not show or have a frontal view of the incident because the angle of the video was from the window behind Nuezca,” Siao said.
“But that defense should not prosper because the video did show the face of Nuezca several times during the video. The video also had audio proving Nuezca was conversing with the people around him who were pleading for mercy for Sonya and Frank Gregorio,” he added.
Nuezca pleaded “not guilty” on January 7, at his legal counsel’s recommendation. Meanwhile, relatives of the Gregorios said that they have already secured witnesses that would testify against Nuezca in court.
Nuezca will be tried for two counts of murder for the death of the Gregorios after fatally shooting them at close-range.
Nuezca also faced two administrative cases for homicide in 2019 but was spared dismissal, after both cases were found to be lacking substantial evidence. — Zac Sarao, Trainee
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