3 cops tagged in minor’s death charged
An official of the Northern Police District (NPD) on Wednesday said that the three policemen linked to the death of a 17-year-old boy in Caloocan City on June 15 were not yet off the hook.
Inspector Jose Hizon, head of the NPD investigation unit, told the Inquirer that administrative charges were filed on Wednesday against Police Officers 1 Orlando de Leon, who is assigned to the NPD Department of Public Safety Battalion; Jelson Eugenio, a member of the National Capital Region Police Office’s Regional Public Safety Battalion; and Jeffrey Antonio, who is assigned to the Philippine National Police’s Aviation Security Group.
Of the three, only Eugenio remains at large.
The policemen were earlier charged with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide after they tried to break up a fight between two groups of minors.
Shots, however, were fired, leaving a 17-year-old boy dead and two other minors wounded. A witness later claimed that the bullet that killed the victim came from the police.
Despite the filing of charges against the three policemen, Caloocan Assistant City Prosecutor Darwin Canete recommended their release “for further investigation.”
“We can’t just leave [it] like that. A minor died,” Hizon told the Inquirer.
He said that the fate of the three policemen would depend on the results of the investigation to be conducted on the administrative charges filed against them.
Based on a police investigation, De Leon and Antonio were the ones who responded when a brawl broke out between two warring groups of minors on Progreso Street in Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City, on June 15.
On the other hand, a witness said that Eugenio, a resident in the area, also went to the site to help break up the fight.
De Leon and Antonio later claimed that the youngsters attacked them and fired upon them, forcing them to fire back to defend themselves. In the ensuing firefight, 17-year-old James Pagar died while two other boys, also minors, were wounded.
A witness had claimed that the bullet that killed Pagar was fired by Eugenio.
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