Gregorio widower thanks Duterte as rights groups blame him for alleged culture of 'impunity'

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 22 2020 07:31 PM

TARLAC – The widower and father of the slain mother and son in Paniqui, Tarlac thanked President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday for his "reassuring words" of fast tracking the murder case against the cop that took the lives of his kin.

Florentino Gregorio, husband of Sonia, 55, and father of Frank Anthony, 25, said he was hopeful they will attain justice following Duterte's statement that he will not protect Police Staff Sergeant Jonel Nuezca, who was charged with 2 counts of murder over the pair's killing last Sunday.

"Malaking bagay yun, lalo na Presidente natin yun eh. Siya ang pinaka-ano natin sa bansang ito. Talagang nagpapasalamat ako sa President sa pag-ano niya sa aming pamilya. Malaking bagay yon sa amin," Gregorio said.

(It means a lot to us, especially coming from the President. I'm really thankful to the President for thinking about our family.)

Gregorio said he does not believe that Nuezca was emboldened by Duterte's pronouncements that he will cover for police officers' crimes done in light of their duty.

"Ang Presidente naman, ang proteksyonan ni Presidente Duterte ang matitinong pulis, hindi yung katulad ni Nuezca dahil nakita naman ni Presidente ang mga pangyayari na ano, hindi nga karapat-dapat na pulis 'yan," Gregorio said.

(President Duterte is protecting the decent cops, and not the likes of Nuezca, because the President saw that Nuezca should not be a policeman.)

Duterte in a public address Monday said he only intended to protect cops who "do it right."

"T******* 'yung g*go na 'yun. 'Di ba sinabi ko, you do it right, I'm with you. You do it wrong, and there will be hell to pay. 'Yun ang sinabi ko sa aking SONA," he said, as he claimed Nuezca was suffering from mental illness, although without offering any proof.

(That s*n of a b**ch. What I said is, you do it right, I'm with you. You do it wrong, and there will be hell to pay. That was what I said in my SONA.)

Duterte's previous statements and policies, including the deadly war on drugs, have been blamed for creating an "enabling environment for police violence," according to the Human Rights Watch.