PNP dismisses cop over death of Valenzuela teen with special needs

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 12 2021 11:37 AM

The family of slain teen with special needs Edwin Arnigo adorns his casket with his awards as an athlete, May 26, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File
The family of slain teen with special needs Edwin Arnigo adorns his casket with his awards as an athlete, May 26, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA— The Philippine National Police (PNP) said Tuesday it approved the dismissal of a Valenzuela City cop over the death of a teenager with autism in an operation last May.

"I have signed the order for the dismissal from the service of [Police Senior Master Sergeant Christopher] Salcedo for grave misconduct and less grave irregularity in the performance of duty," PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement.

Salcedo was administratively charged for the death of 18-year-old Edwin Arnigo, who was shot in an anti-illegal gambling (tupada) operation in Valenzuela last May 23.

Police claimed Arnigo tried to snatch a gun, which led to the "accidental shooting," but a witness said Salcedo grabbed Arnigo before shooting him.

In dismissing Salcedo, Eleazar considered "several factors that aggravated his offense including violation of the Police Operational Procedure as well as the fact that the teenager was a person with special needs."

Eleazar said Arnigo should not have been arrested by Valenzuela cops because he was not even involved in the "tupada." 

"Being a person with autism spectrum disorder, he could not have knowingly taken part in the illegal gambling activity," he said.

The PNP, meanwhile, dropped administrative cases against 4 other Valenzuela cops who took part in the operation due to lack of "substantive evidence," Eleazar said.

The National Bureau of Investigation is still conducting a probe for the filing of a criminal complaint against Salcedo.

Prior to the dismissal, the PNP Internal Affairs Service placed Salcedo under a 40-day suspension.

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