Supreme Court upholds homicide raps vs 4 drug war cops | Inquirer News

Supreme Court upholds homicide raps vs 4 drug war cops

/ 05:15 AM January 24, 2024

High court affirms powers, autonomy of Shariah courts NGCP PROJECT


MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal of a widow to charge 21 police officers in Caloocan City with two counts of murder over the killing of her husband and son under the Duterte administration’s drug war.

In a 22-page decision promulgated on Oct. 11, 2023, but published only on Monday, the high court junked the petition for certiorari filed by Mary Ann Domingo.


It also upheld the resolution of the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices (OMB-Moleo), which found probable cause to charge four of the 21 police officers with homicide while absolving the 17 others in relation to a buy-bust operation conducted on Sept. 15, 2016.


The anti-drug operation in Barangay Barrio, Caloocan City, resulted in the deaths of Domingo’s husband, Luis Bonifacio, and their son, Gabriel Lois Bonifacio. The high tribunal ruled that Domingo’s petition, which had argued that OMB-Moleo gravely abused its discretion when it found probable cause in the crimes committed, was “bereft of merit.”

“It is not enough for [the] petitioner to show that the OMB-Moleo erred in its determination of probable cause,” the court said in its decision written by Associate Justice Henri Paul Inting.

‘Searching only’

Based on Domingo’s account, a group of armed police officers wearing police vests and carrying flashlights barged into the second floor of their house around midnight on Sept. 15, 2016. The police officers reportedly yelled “Mga pulis kami (We’re police officers)” and “Searching lang po” (We’re just searching).”

Domingo said that she and her three children were forced to go downstairs as she saw her husband on his knees with guns pointed at his head.

She recounted that their son, Gabriel, tried to pull away the police officers surrounding his father while pleading: “Sir ‘wag po. Bakit po? Papa ko yan. Ano bang kasalanan namin? Wala kaming ginagawang masama (Sir, don’t do this. Why? He is my father. What have we done wrong? We’re not doing anything wrong).”

Domingo said she was holding her eldest daughter, Maria Kaila, while they were inside a police van when she heard several gunshots coming from their house.


In her petition, she alleged that a certain Randy Rusia told her children that the police officers had dragged Gabriel’s body out into the streets and shouted “Nanlalaban (He’s resisting)!” before firing a gun.

Domingo insisted that the operation was not a buy-bust but a raid because it was conducted by more than 20 uniformed police officers.

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She also accused the police officers of robbery, saying that when she and her children returned home, she found that several valuables, including a wallet, bracelet, watch, clothes, cell phones, and charger, were missing.

TAGS: Drug war, homicide case, rogue cops, Supreme Court

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