MANILA — A 12-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl were the source of the now viral video of an off-duty officer who shot dead his unarmed neighbors in Tarlac, the head of the Philippine National Police said Thursday, as public outrage over the incident simmered, drawing heavy condemnation to the police force.
PNP Chief Gen. Debold Sinas, who went to Paniqui, Tarlac where Staff Sgt. Jonel Nuezca shot pointblank his unarmed female neighbor and her son, said the minors were "very scared."
"Iyong may-ari ng video ay 12 years old na lalaki, tapos pinasa niya sa kaibigan o kamag-anak niya na malayo, na kamag-anak ng biktima, 16 years old," Sinas said in a public briefing. "Tapos kumuha siya ng video, napakalapit so kitang-kita niya iyon."
(The owner of the video is a 12-year-old boy, then he passed it to a friend or a distant relative, who is also a relative of the victim, 16 years old. The one who took the video, he was very near.)
Sinas said he asked the boy why he did not run from the crime scene.
"Sabi niya, nanginginig din siya, natatakot at hindi siya makagalaw sa sobrang takot niya. Tapos tiningnan siya nung suspek, buti na lang hindi siya binalingan at hindi kinuha po iyong video niya," said the general.
(He said he was too scared to move. The suspect looked at him. it's fortunate that the suspect did not turn on him and seize his video.)
The PNP Chief said he asked Paniqui officials to give psychological support to all the children who witnessed the crime, including the daughter of the policeman who was with him at the time of the shooting.
"Noong kinausap ko po sila, medyo naapektuhan sila sa pagtulog, takot na takot sila lalo na iyong 16 years old," said Sinas.
(When I talked to them, they said the incident has affected their sleep. They are very scared, especially the 16-year-old.)
Sinas said he has provided security to the family of the minors in exchange for bolstering the case against Nuezca with their statement.