MANILA - Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday denounced as "blood murder" the killing of an unarmed mother and her son in the hands of a policeman in Paniqui, Tarlac.
Interviewed on Teleradyo, Año, who oversees the Philippine National Police (PNP), vowed to give justice to the family of the victims who he said were killed in cold blood.
"Kitang-kita naman natin ito, ito ay isang blood murder. Kitang-kita sa video, hindi lumalaban 'yong biktima. Hindi naman armado ang mag-ina. Talagang murder ito," he said.
(As we can see, this is blood murder. As shown in the video, the victims didn't resist. The mother and son were unarmed. This is murder.)
Año said he would ensure the suspect, who was identified as Police Senior Master Sgt. Jonel Nuezca, would be charged and dismissed from service.
"We don't need this kind of policeman. Napakasimpleng bagay lang 'yan para gamitan mo ng armas," he said.
(It's a simple issue that you resort to using guns.)
"Walang justification para barilin mo in cold blood. Talagang point-blank pa 'yong distansiya. Talagang kailangan bigyan natin ng hustisya [ang mga biktima]."
(There's no justification to kill them in cold blood. They were even shot point-blank. We will give justice [to the victims].)
On Sunday afternoon, Nuezca shot mother and son - Sonya Gregorio, 52, and Frank Anthony Gregorio, 25, - multiple times following an argument over an improvised canon.
As seen on now-viral videos, the murders happened after the minor daughter of the cop who proudly shouted "my father is a policeman” was briefly mocked by Sonya. This triggered the policeman, who then shot dead the unarmed mother and son.
The policeman, who is assigned at the Parañaque City police crime laboratory, was off-duty when the incident took place. He later surrendered to Paniqui police.
The video began making rounds on social media Sunday night and spawned the hashtag #StopTheKillingsPH.
Año said he became aware of the incident on Monday morning when police officers sent him the now-viral clip.
"Talagang sabi (I said), this is [the] worst, we don't train policemen to be like that," he said. "This is the complete opposite of the image that we want to create."
Año said they would also give assistance in any way they could to the bereaved family.
"Makakaasa 'yong pamilya ng biktima na ang police at DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) gagawin ang lahat para siguardong mabigay natin 'yong hustisya," he said.
(The police and DILG assure the family they will do everything they can to give them justice.)