Cop behind Tarlac killings has 2 other homicide, grave misconduct cases

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 21 2020 03:17 PM | Updated as of Dec 21 2020 08:47 PM

Mugshot of Police Senior Master Sgt. Jonel Nuezca as double murder charges are filed against him a day after he shot his 2 neighbors in Paniqui town,

MANILA (UPDATE) - The policeman who killed an unarmed mother and son in Tarlac has a history of grave misconduct and faced 2 homicide cases in recent years, based on a document from the Philippine National Police released on Monday.

Police Senior Master Sgt. Jonel Nuezca, who brutally shot to death Sonya Gregorio, 52 and Frank Anthony, 25, on Sunday, was charged with grave misconduct for homicide in May 2019 and December 2019, according to the document obtained by ABS-CBN News.

Both cases were dismissed "for lack of substantial evidence."

Based on his records, Nuezca was first suspended for 10 days in February 2010 for undisclosed reasons.

In 2013, he faced an administrative case for grave misconduct, but was unpunished after the case was "dropped and closed."

He was again suspended for 31 days in December 2015 after "refusing to [undergo a] drug test and leaving the testing area without permission/clearance" from National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) inspectors, according to the document.

In 2016, he was charged for "serious neglect of duty" for failing to "attend [a] court hearing as prosecution witness of a drug case," it read.

"A case of grave misconduct carries a punishment of dismissal," said Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who served as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) before he was elected to the Senate.

"'Yung refusal niya to undergo drug test and leaving the premises without permission should have prodded the PNP or NAPOLCOM to watch or monitor his activities as he might be a drug user at least," Lacson told ABS-CBN News.

(His refusal to undergo drug test and leaving the premises without permission should have prodded the PNP or NAPOLCOM to watch or monitor his activities as he might be a drug user at least.)

Philippine National Police chief Gen. Debold Sinas earlier condemned the incident and called it an "isolated case."

"The PNP considers this as an isolated involvement of the person of PSSg (Nuezca). In no way will such incident affect the sworn duty of the 221,000 police personnel to serve and protect our people," he said in a statement.

"Again, let me express my sincere condolences to the family of the victims, and I am extending to them any form of assistance within my power as chief PNP to appease their emotions in this unexpected time of grief."

Criminal charges have been filed against Nuezca, he said.

Several senators condemned the killing and underscored that "impunity" in the country may have been encouraging policemen to be "trigger-happy."

PNP CONSIDERING ANGER MANAGEMENT, ADMIN WORK FOR ERRING COPS

Following the incident, the PNP is considering anger management trainings and other actions against erring cops, especially those involved in similar cases.

PNP Spokesperson Police Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana said Sinas is considering anger management training for police personnel, as advised by health professionals.

"Ang isa po na nakita ng ating Chief PNP, kanina ho nasabi niya rin ho 'yan, base na rin ho sa advice ng health professionals, magkaroon po ng anger management ang mga police personnel," Usana told TeleRadyo.

(The PNP chief already mentioned it earlier that based on the advice of health professionals, we will be conducting anger management training for police personnel.)

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He also said those with cases involving the use of firearms will undergo rehabilitation and may be asked to do administrative work in the meantime.

"At titingnan ho namin, kung may mga kaso involving firearms, they probably may be required to simply perform administrative work, kung kinakailangan, until such time that may be, they already agree that they rehabilitated themselves," Usana added.

(We are also considering, for those with cases involving firearms, that they probably may be required to simply perform administrative work, if needed, until such time that they have rehabilitated themselves.)

Usana said the PNP is already looking into Nuezca's case, since his actions affect the whole agency.

"Siyempre, ang parang na-aggrieve po dito, 'yung agency, 'yung PNP na kaniya sanang nire-represent. So we will take action on this, at we will give the public as regards kung ano man 'yung action taken on this case po," he said.

(The PNP is aggrieved in this incident, the agency he is supposed to represent. We will take action on this, and we will update the public on the action we have taken.)