Killer cop Nuezca demoted for 2014 extortion case in October, just weeks before slays

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 23 2020 05:02 PM

Killer cop Nuezca demoted for 2014 extortion case in October, just weeks before slays 1
Mugshot of Police Staff Sgt. Jonel Nuezca as double murder charges are filed against him a day after he shot his 2 neighbors in Paniqui town, Tarlac. 

MANILA – The National Police Commission (Napolcom) confirmed Wednesday that policeman Jonel Nuezca was slapped with a demotion just last October over a 2014 case of extortion, just weeks before his brutal shooting of a mother and her son over an argument in Tarlac. 

Nuezca is currently facing 2 counts of murder over his killing of mother and son Sonia and Frank Gregorio last Sunday. The shooting incident was caught on video and has now gone viral.

Napolcom Legal Affairs Service chief Chito Bustonera said Nuezca was found liable for grave misconduct after it was proven he extorted money from 2 individuals he apprehended in 2014. 

"Mayroon silang dinampot na dalawang tao (They arrested 2 people) and they brought this person to the police station, in exchange for his liberty they asked for certain amount of money," Bustonera told ABS-CBN News.

Neil Esponilla, chief of the case management and court representation division at the Napolcom Legal Affairs Service, detailed how Nuezca and his cohorts extorted money from the victims.

"May hinuli silang tricycle driver na may pasahero daw at around 3 in the morning, sa C-5. Dinala nila sa presinto. Nung pumunta 'yung parents nung isa sa hinuli nila, hiningan sila ng P40,000," Esponilla told TeleRAdyo in a separate interview Wednesday. 

(They apprehended a tricycle driver that had a passenger around 3 in the morning on C-5. They brought them to the precinct. When the parents of one of those they arrested came, they asked for P40,000.)

When the relatives of the victims failed to deliver the amount, Nuezca's group eventually settled for P10,000 after their station chief allegedly intervened, Esponilla said. 

Bustonera said they handed the resolution of Nuezca's administrative case last October, penalizing him with a one-rank demotion. 

But he was unsure if the Philippine National Police's Directorate for Personnel and Records Management (DPRM) was able to execute their order. 

"To our knowledge the PNP implements the decisions naman of the disciplinary authorities, the one responsible for that is the DPRM. Kaya sa rules namin (That's why under our rules) all should be furnished to the DPRM. The DPRM would be in the best position to issue an implementation," Bustonera said.

In his handwritten statement, Nuezca identified himself as Police Staff Sergeant. 

 POSSIBLE DISMISSAL

The PNP Internal Affairs Service had earlier reported that 5 cases against Nuezca have been lodged before their office.

These include absence as witness in a court case on drug charges, escaping random drug testing, grave misconduct, and homicide. 

The Napolcom said they are now looking deeper into Nuezca’s absence as witness in a court hearing. They said presence of police official in such proceedings is crucial to avoid the dismissal of a drug case.

Bustonera added this may be a ground for Nuezca's dismissal. 

"If you fail to appear in court, your failure results in the dismissal of the case. Ang [The] penalty to be imposed is automatically dismissal from the service eh," Bustonera stressed.

–With reports from Angel Movido, ABS-CBN News