Philippines investigating fatal shooting incident involving police officer

MANILA (CNA) – Philippine authorities said yesterday they were investigating a fatal shooting incident in Tarlac, Manila, involving 46-year-old police officer Jonel Nuezca.

He is also reportedly facing double murder charges.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said it “strongly” condemned the shooting, which led to the deaths of two people said to be Nuezca’s neighbours in Paniqui.

According to ABS-CBN News, Nuezca shot 52-year-old Sonya Gregorio and her son Frank, 25, multiple times on Sunday in an argument over an improvised cannon.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano said Nuezca was assigned at the Paranaque City Police Station, but had gone home to Paniqui.

“The formal investigation into the incident has commenced and we assure the family and the public that the PNP (Philippine National Police) and the National Police Commission will conduct a thorough, impartial and swift investigation,” said Ano. “The DILG will ensure that justice will be given to the family of the victims and that administrative and criminal cases will be filed against Nuezca.

“We do not and will never tolerate such acts and we will make sure that he will account for his crimes.”

Police Chief Noriel Rombaoa said Nuezca and the Gregorios were involved in a property right-of-way dispute.

However, witnesses reported that the shooting was sparked by a confrontation over the firing of a boga, a type of noisemaker usually used for revelries.

A video circulating online showed a man believed to be Nuezca in an altercation with two people, said to be the older Gregorio and her son. Frank Gregorio appeared to be arguing with Nuezca.

Nuezca’s daughter was heard shouting “my father is a policeman”, to which Gregorio said, “I don’t care”.

Nuezca then threatened to kill Gregorio before shooting her and her son point-blank.