MANILA - A policeman, who was under investigation for killing a handcuffed motorist in July, fell to his death from the rooftop of a building inside police general headquarters on Saturday, his superior said.
It was not immediately clear how Police Officer 3 Jeremiah de Villa fell from the Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG building in Camp Crame, said Senior Superintendent Antonio Gardiola Jr., acting director of the Highway Patrol Group.
De Villa and another police officer from the HPG are facing murder and robbery charges for allegedly shooting to death motorcycle rider John dela Riarte inside a police car while he was handcuffed.
The two HPG men claimed Dela Riarte resisted arrest, but the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) said the victim was shot point blank and "execution style."
While saddened by De Villa's death, PAO chief Persida Acosta said De Villa missed the chance to explain his side in court.
Gardiola said De Villa's co-accused, PO2 Jonjie Manon-og, was undergoing counselling and was being watched by a police "buddy."
Administrative charges of grave misconduct, grave irregularity in the performance of duty, oppression, and conduct not becoming of a police officer were filed against the two on top of the criminal charges, Acosta said.
Dela Riarte's brother, Robert, said that while he believed the police officers should be punished, he would not have wanted them to die. He said De Villa should have been guarded closely.
"Una, di ako pabor sa death penalty…pare-parehas lang tayong tao. Sana malaman ang totoo [I am against death penalty. We are all human. I hope the truth comes out]," he said. -- Reports from Jeffrey Hernaez, ABS-CBN News