Teen pins Tarlac twin murders on ex-cop
TARLAC CITY—The 16-year-old girl who captured on her mobile phone camera the killing of a woman and her son in Paniqui, Tarlac, in December last year took the witness stand on Thursday and identified dismissed policeman Jonel Nuezca as the gunman.
The girl said Nuezca was the one who shot and killed Sonya Gregorio and her son, Frank Anthony, on Dec. 20, 2020, said lawyer Roland Inting, counsel for the Gregorio family.
Nuezca has been charged with double murder in the Paniqui Regional Trial Court Branch 67. He entered a “not guilty” plea during the Jan. 7 arraignment.
“Our witness testified that she saw the killing, the entire incident,” Inting told the Inquirer by telephone on Thursday.
Inting said the girl was present in the courtroom while Nuezca took part in the trial via Zoom from the detention facility of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Tarlac City during the continuation of the trial, which began on Feb. 4.
He said the mobile phone that contained the video of the shooting that the girl took and which had gone viral on social media was also submitted as evidence.
On Feb. 4, Florentino Gregorio, Sonya’s husband and Frank’s father, also testified during the first hearing to prove Nuezca’s civil liability in the case.
Florentino sought more than P70 million in civil and exemplary damages from Nuezca, Inting said.
His wife and son were shot by the off-duty policeman at close range. The killings were reportedly triggered by an old feud between Nuezca and his neighbors over property and right of way.
Nuezca, a former police master sergeant, fled on board a motorcycle with his young daughter after the shooting. But he surrendered to policemen in Pangasinan province hours after the crime and confessed to the killing.
The next hearing is scheduled for March 11, Inting said. —MARIA ADELAIDA CALAYAG
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