MANILA, Philippines — The seven police officers who were recommended to face charges of six counts of murder and arbitrary detention over the killing of six individuals in Bulacan were already dismissed from service, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Wednesday.
In a statement, PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said their dismissal order was issued in June this year after they were found to have fabricated drug operations that led to the killing of six persons in Bulacan in February.
“Ako mismo ang pumirma ng desisyon na tanggalin sa serbisyo ang mga pulis na ito matapos mapatunayan sa aming imbestigasyon na sila ay nagtanim ng droga at baril para palabasin na ang nangyari sa Bulacan ay isang lehitimong operasyon,” he said.
“Hindi katanggap-tanggap ito at hindi ko kukunsintihin ang mga ganitong uri ng pang-aabuso at kalokohan dahil ang mga katulad nila ang sumisira sa aming kampanya laban sa droga at sa pangalan ng inyong Philippine National Police,” he added.
In a resolution, a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigating panel recommended the filing of six counts of murder and six counts of arbitrary detention against the following:
- Police Staff Sergeant Benjie Enconado
- Police Staff SergeantIrwin Joy Yuson
- Police Corporal Marlon Martus
- Police Corporal Edmund Catubay Jr.
- Police Corporal Harvy Albino
- Police Corporal Herbert Hernandez
- Patrolman Rusco Madla
The DOJ, however, dropped the cases of murder and arbitrary detention against other police personnel identified as Police Major Leo dela Rosa, Police Staff Sergeant Jayson Legaspi, Police Corporals Jay Marc Leoncio, Constante Escalante Jr., Raymond Bayan, Paul Malgapo, and Randy Camitoc, as well as Patrolman Erwin Sabido, for lack of probable cause.
But all of them were charged with grave offense for the incident in San Jose del Monte City for violations of Section 29, RA 9165 (Planting of illegal drugs) and Section 38, RA 10591 (Planting of firearms).
They were found guilty and were recommended for dismissal from the service, the PNP said.
Investigation of the PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS) revealed that the six victims just happened to pass by the area where the policemen were conducting anti-illegal drugs operations on February 13 when they were all arrested.
They were then brought to the police station where they were hogtied and detained but they were not booked for any offense.
The victims were then taken on February 18 to a secluded area in Barangay Gaya-Gaya in San Jose del Monte City where they were shot.
The policemen, however, made it appear that they were drug personalities who died in a legitimate encounter by planting illegal drugs and firearms.
The PNP said the IAS recommendation was reviewed by the Discipline, Law and Order Division of the Directorate for Personnel Records and Management which drafted the decision for approval of the Police Chief.
Eleazar signed the decision to dismiss all 15 policemen in June.
Then Chief of Police of San Jose del Monte City, Police Lt. Col. Gil Domingo, was punished with six months suspension for command responsibility.
“Gaya ng lagi nating sinasabi, umiiral ang sistema ng hustisya sa ating bansa at ang rekomendasyon ng Department of Justice na sampahan ng kasong murder ang pitong pulis sa pagkamatay ng anim na katao sa Bulacan, kabilang ang aming desisyon na tanggalin silang lahat sa serbisyo, ay isa na namang patunay dito,” Eleazar said.
“Hindi kailanman kinunsinti ng inyong PNP ang mga kaso ng pang-aabuso sa kapangyarihan sa aming hanay at kasama namin ang DOJ sa paghahanap ng katotohanan at pagbibigay ng hustisya sa ating mga kababayan,” he added.