‘No whitewash, cover-up’ in probe of Valenzuela teen’s death — Eleazar
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Guillermo Eleazar on Wednesday said that there will be no white wash or cover up in the investigation on the death of an 18-year-old boy with special needs in Valenzuela involving policemen.
Eleazar gave the assurance to the parents of Edwin Arnigo, who was shot dead by police on allegations that he had tried to grab the service firearm of Valenzuela cops who were then conducting a raid against an illegal cockfighting operation in the area on May 23.
“I have talked with the parents of the victim and told them of our commitment to investigate this case,” Eleazar said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.
“Ang gusto nating mangyari ay tanggalin itong mga pulis na hindi gumagawa ng tama. So walang white wash dito, no cover-up. Kung sino ang may kasalanan may mananagot and that was the assurance that I have given to the parents of the victim and also to the Filipino people na nage-expect no less than on this effort na ginagawa ng ating pulis,” he added.
(What we want to do is remove police officers who are not doing the right thing. So there will be no white wash, no cover-up in the investigation and that was the assurance that I have given to the parents of the victim and also to the Filipino people who are expecting no less than on this effort being done by the police.)
The PNP chief further said that he told the victim’s family that the police will be willing to cooperate with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) should “they choose to let the NBI have the lead role” in the investigation.
Initial police reports showed that Arnigo, diagnosed as a teenager with autism, allegedly grabbed the service firearm of one of the policemen which resulted in a scuffle during a raid. The service firearm went off and hit the victim, according to police.
This was disputed by Arnigo’s mother, who said her son would not do that because he was “afraid of police.”
Eleazar said that the PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS) and the Northern Police District, which has jurisdiction over Valenzuela, would still conduct a probe as to whether police officers involved violated any engagement protocols that led to Arnigo’s death.
“I have given them a directive to both the Northern Police District and the IAS to conduct a deeper investigation,” the PNP chief said.
“But ito ho, ang gusto nating mangyari, we want to get rid of these scalawags in our uniform but of course may due process yan pero di tayo mangingimi na magtanggal ang mga ‘yan kung talagang may base ‘yan,” he added.
(But this, what we want to happen, we want to get rid of these scalawags in our uniform but of course there needs to be due process but we will not hesitate to remove errant officers if there is basis.)
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