TARLAC (UPDATE) - The relatives of the mother and her son who were killed by a policeman in Paniqui town, Tarlac said Sunday they have forgiven the suspect but would seek justice for the victims.
Hundreds joined the funeral procession of Sonia, 55, and Frank Anthony Gregorio, 25, who were shot dead a week ago by their neighbor Police Staff Sergeant Jonel Nuezca after an altercation over an improvised cannon.
In a video of the killing that made rounds on social media, Sonia could be seen pacifying while hugging his son Frank, both unarmed, in an attempt to stop an encounter with the policeman.
Grief poured out from the victims' relatives, friends and supporters in their town as they were buried at the Paniqui Garden of Angels Memorial Park on Sunday morning.
Belen San Jose, a relative of the Gregorios, said the family has found it in their hearts to forgive Nuezca, a policeman assigned at the Paranaque City police crime laboratory.
“Ang ano namin, magkaroon ng justice. Napatawad na po namin siya. Patawarin natin ang tao. Pero may justice, meron po tayong batas. Managot po siya sa mata ng Diyos, managot siya sa mata ng tao,” San Jose told the media.
(What we want is justice. We have forgiven him. But there's justice, we have laws. He should take responsibility before God and the people.)
“Hindi ako galit. Kinagagalitan ko lang po yung mga taliwas na ginagawa ng iba nating mga kababayan na PNP. Hindi po lahat ng PNP ay ganon."
(I'm not mad. I'm mad at erring policemen. Not all policemen are like that.)
The brutal killing is an isolated case, said Police Col. Narciso Domingo, deputy regional director of the Central Luzon Police.
“Ang insidenteng nangyari ay hindi po gawain ng buong PNP. May talagang ilang bulok na kasali sa hanay ng PNP. Hindi dapat i-blame ang buong organisasyon ng PNP. Nagpapasalamat kami sa mga kaanak na yun po ay naiintindihan nila,” he said.
(The incident is not the whole PNP's doing. There are just some rotten members among the PNP. This should not be blamed on the whole organization of the PNP. We thank the victims' relatives that they understand this.)
Nuezca is already detained as he faces criminal charges of murder and administrative cases over the Gregorios' slay.
The local police is awaiting orders from the court for Nuezca’s transfer to Tarlac’s Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility, Domingo said.
Security and support are being provided to both the victim and suspect’s families, and 8 minors are undergoing psychological therapy and services, he added.
The police has a total of 7 witnesses for the case against Nuezca, according to Domingo.
“Ang instruction po ay ipatupad ang hustisya. Hayaan natin ang gulong ng batas pumunta sa kanyang direksyon,” Doming said.
“Patuloy namin ipapatupad ang programa naming internal cleansing na kung saan lahat ng pasaway, lahat ng matigas ang ulo na nasa hanay ng PNP na magkaroon ng administrative case."
In 2019, 2 cases of grave misconduct for homicide were filed against him but were dismissed "for lack of substantial evidence."
He was last meted with a demotion over an alleged 2014 extortion incident.