MANILA - The brutal killing of unarmed civilians by a police officer in Tarlac province will not spur any changes in the Philippine National Police (PNP) as earlier reforms have been implemented, its spokesman said Tuesday, saying the shooting incident was isolated and would not dampen the "best intentions" of the police force.
"I guess what [Police Master Senior Sgt. Jonel] Nuezca did is something that will not even trigger any change at all in the PNP because we have had many changes [that] had already been initiated," Police Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana told ANC amid calls for reform.
"This particular case actually will not make the PNP as if we're totally wrong because as I was saying, this is an isolated case. The murder criminal action has already been filed. The [officer's] dismissal will be forthcoming. The PNP will have to move on from there."
Usana maintained that Nuezca's action, which he described as abominable, does not represent the 221,000-strong police force.
He said the PNP had already dismissed some 4,800 out of 16,800 police officers who were facing various administrative cases.
"We have had these number of cases involving erring police officers... they are all dismissed from the service. If they stay longer in the service, the PNP itself may be at [the] wrong," Usana said.
"But in this case, we will not waste any minute longer for them to stay in the service because they don't deserve to be a police officer at all."
The police official also stressed the PNP had long instituted various programs to cleanse its ranks. The organization is also open to complaints filed by anyone who may have been aggrieved by police officers, he added.
"The act committed by Nuezca will not dampen the best intentions of our police officers for having done all the pains in the service of our people," Usana said.
Due to a dispute over a holiday noisemaker, Nuezca shot to death mother and son - Sonia Gregorio, 55, and Frank Anthony Gregorio, 25 - in Paniqui, Tarlac Sunday afternoon.
The incident was captured on video and went viral on social media, drawing widespread outrage, with netizens calling on authorities to halt slays, using the hashtag #StopKillingsInPH.
Nuezca, who is assigned at the Parañaque City police crime laboratory, surrendered to authorities and has been charged for 2 counts of murder.
The police force has many times faced criticism for alleged involvement of its officers in killings, particularly in the drug war, with rights groups pointing to impunity among those in power. The PNP has denied being behind summary killings in the drug campaign, saying drug suspects slain had resisted violently, prompting officers to defend themselves.