Murder charges filed vs 7 cops in Bulacan ‘bogus’ drug bust
MANILA, Philippines—Government prosecutors filed murder charges against seven police officers involved in the “bogus” drug bust in Bulacan last year, which led to six civilians’ deaths.
Facing charges for murder before the Malolos City Regional Trial Court are the following:
• PSSG Benjie D. Enconado,
• PSSG Irwin Joy M. Yuson,
• PCPL Marlon M. Martus,
• PCPL Edmund V. Catubay, Jr.,
• PCPL Harvy C. Albino,
• PCPL Herbert L. Hernandez, and
• PAT Rusco Virnar A. Madla.
Aside from six counts of murder, the seven members of the Intelligence Section/City Drug Enforcement Unit (IS/CDEU) of the San Jose Del Monte City Police Station in Bulacan face six counts of arbitrary detention.
“The DOJ Panel is awaiting the court’s issuance of warrants of arrest against said police officers,” the DOJ said Tuesday.
The filing of the charges arose from three fake buy-bust operations on Feb. 14, 15, and 18, 2020 that led to the death of Chamberlain S. Domingo, Chadwin D.R. Santos, Edmar S. Aspirin, Richard C. Salgado, Erwin N. Mergal, and Jim Joshua Cordero.
However, an investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) showed that the victims were forcibly taken on Feb. 13, 2020, at Towerville, Barangay Sto. Cristo, San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan.
The DOJ said, “three (3) fabricated buy-bust operations conducted by the said police officers supposedly on 14, 15, and 18 Feb. 2020 against the victims, but in truth and fact, no buy-bust operation was ever conducted against them.”
“They [the victims] happened to pass by the area where a buy-bust operation took place,” the DOJ said, quoting the resolution. It also mentioned an eye-witness who was tasked to watch the victims while under detention.
The DOJ said its panel of prosecutors is already waiting for the issuance of an arrest warrant.
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