PNP identifies cops who shot teen, companion in Laguna anti-drug raid
MANILA, Philippines — Authorities have identified the policemen who shot a 16-year-old teen and another drug suspect during the June 16 anti-drug operation in Laguna, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Wednesday.
In a statement, PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the “ballistics examination and the cross-matching on the slugs recovered from the bodies of 16-year-old Jhondie Maglinte Helis and Antonio Dalit led to the identification of the policemen.”
“The Regional Crime Laboratory Office of Police Regional Office 4A reported that the slugs specimen taken from the cadaver of Jhondie Maglinte Helis matched with a cal. 45 gun submitted by one of the operatives with a rank of Police Senior Master Sergeant,” said Eleazar.
“A .45 pistol owned by a Police Commissioned Officer also matched a bullet recovered from Dalit’s body based on the same report of the RCLO4A [PNP regional command in Laguna],” he added.
Eleazar did not name the policemen, but said that the results of the investigation of the Fact-Finding Investigation Task Group “are proof that the police organization is serious in finding out the truth behind the incident.”
A total of 11 firearms were submitted for ballistics examinations and cross-matching.
While the policemen behind the shooting have already been identified, Eleazar said that the investigation group does not know yet whether or not there was an exchange of gunfire between the police operatives and the two slain subjects of police operation.
According to Eleazar, the investigation task group is still looking into the allegation that one of the slain suspects, Helis, was handcuffed at the time he was shot, adding that witnesses still have not surfaced to solidify the allegation.
“There’s a presumption of regularity in the conduct of this operation, unless there are witnesses who could corroborate that there was no exchange of gunfire and that Helis was already handcuffed when he was repeatedly shot as claimed by the relatives,” he said.
Eleazar then reiterated his call for Helis and Dalit’s relatives, as well as other potential witnesses, to come forward and make testimony to the various investigating bodies, to shed light on what happened.
Eleazar promised that witnesses will be protected by the authorities once they come forward.
“Hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa din malinaw kung ano ang tunay na nangyari. Nananawagan po ang PNP sa mga kinauukulan na agad idulog sa mga otoridad kung tayo po ay may nalalaman na mahalagang impormasyong makatutulong sa imbestigasyon. Tinitiyak ko ang inyong proteksyon,” Eleazar said.
(Until now it is still not clear what really happened. The PNP calls on witnesses to immediately report to the authorities if they know any important information that will assist in the investigation. I guarantee your protection.)
“Patuloy pa rin ang imbestigasyon sa kasong ito at kami ay umaasa na may mga testigo na magbibigay pahayag upang bigyang linaw ang insideteng ito. Ang gusto ko lang ipaabot sa ating mga kababayan ay hindi natin makakamit ang katotohanan at hindi natin makukuha ang hustisya kung mananahimik lang tayo,” Eleazar added.
(The investigation of this case is still ongoing and we hope that there are witnesses who will give statements to clarify this incident. All I want to convey to our countrymen is that we will not get the truth and we will not get justice if we just keep quiet.)
According to Eleazar, it is “concerning” that there seemed to have been many witnesses to the incident in the video uploaded on social media, based on the audible chatting on the video’s background, but none of them has given their statements to the police yet.
Eleazar earlier said that until witnesses themselves come forward to the PNP, the information, even those coming from the victims’ relatives, will remain “hearsay.”
This came after relatives of the two slain suspects told reporters that Helis was shot as he was handcuffed while lying face down on the ground after he witnessed Dalit’s death.
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