MANILA — Four policemen in Valenzuela City have been relieved from their assignments after they were tagged in the death of a teenager with special needs during a tupada raid that supposedly led to a "gun scuffle."
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Guillermo Eleazar said he has ordered the administrative relief of 4 cops linked to the death of 18-year old man Edwin Arnigo, a person within the autism spectrum.
Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian on Monday identified the 4 cops involved in the shooting incident as:
• Police Master Sgt. Christopher Salcedo
• Police Cpl. Kenneth Pacheco
• Police Cpl. Rodel Villar
• Police Cpl. Rex Paredes
It is unclear who among the 4 shot the victim.
Police claimed Arnigo was shot dead when he "grabbed the service firearm of one of the policemen" that led to a "scuffle." They claimed Arnigo was arrested inside a tupada site.
But the Arnigo family said they have eyewitness that saw a policeman bear hug the teen before shooting him close range. They also denied Edwin was caught inside the tupada area.
With the conflicting narratives of the police and family, Eleazar said the relief of cops involved would "pave the way for an impartial investigation into the incident."
"Kami man sa PNP gusto naming malaman kung ano ang nangyari... Aminin namin kung may mali... Papanagutan at itatama namin ang kamalian para di na ito maulit," Eleazar said.
Eleazar said they welcome the parallel probe of the National Bureau of Investigation, a personal request of the Arnigo family to Gatchalian.
—With a report from Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News