MANILA — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said Tuesday it would conduct a motu proprio investigation into a police officer's shooting of a woman in Quezon City— an incident caught on video and is now viral on social media.
Lilybeth Valdez, 52, was shot dead point blank Monday night by an allegedly drunk Police Master Sgt. Hensie Zinampan. The confrontation and the shooting was caught on video by Valdez's kin.
CHR spokesperson Jacquelyn de Guia said the video was "very traumatic" and reminiscent of a controversial police shooting late last year.
"I remember the same feeling I got when I watched the Nuezca video from last December. It just brings the same kind of emotion. Without preempting the investigation, it just surfaces many questions we have to answer in light of this incident," De Guia said.
She was referring to the incident involving Police Staff Sgt. Jonel Nuezca, who shot to death Sonia Gregorio, 52, and her son Frank Anthony Gregorio, 25, in Paniqui town on Dec. 20 last year.
The killings, also caught on video, drew widespread condemnation, with some officials calling for reforms in the Philippine National Police, and netizens pleading to stop the killings.
De Guia said the latest incident in Quezon City was alarming due to its similarities to the Nuezca case.
"It’s a cause of concern. Nuezca just happened last December and barely a year, we have another similar incident... We have similar circumstances here. We have a woman. A member of the vulnerable sector. Again, in front of children. And the fatal shot to the neck — it’s just so brazen. it’s just so shocking," she said.
"Kailangan talaga, kailangan tuldukan ang mga ganitong insidente. There should be zero tolerance for killing... Isa lang talaga pagtingin natin: itigil ang mga patayan," De Guia added.
De Guia said the agency welcomes the PNP investigation into the incident but also raises the importance of an independent investigation through the CHR.
"We also have to bear in mind that when we talk about victims and witnesses, they are also wary of cooperating with the very body that the alleged perpetrators belongs to."
PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar assured the Valdez family they would get justice.
He added he would aggressively push for massive reform in the police force's recruitment process, saying that corruption and the padrino (patron) system in PNP was the reason why undeserving applicants can enter the police service.
Video from the Philippine National Police