The Philippine National Police (PNP) is now under fire after a video of a cop shooting the heads of two unarmed civilians, a mom and his son, surfaced on social media.
The video surfaced a few days ago. It shows the suspect, Police Master Sergeant, Jonel Nuezca, in an altercation with the victims. The video, since then, has become viral. In fact, internet users trended the hashtags, #StopTheKillingsPH, and #JusticeForSonyaGregorio.
An Isolated Case for the Police Agency?
Some leaders have defended the police force and say the shooting is an isolated case.
Current Philippine Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Eduardo Año, called the incident an isolated one.
The sin of one is not the sin of the entire PNP, he said. He also shared the efforts of law enforcement personnel during the pandemic.
PNP’s spokesperson, Police Brigadier General Ilderbrandi Usana, also maintained Nuezca’s action was an isolated case.
However, the Philippine Commission on Human Rights (CHR) rejected those claims. In fact, commissioner Karen Dumpit urges the PNP to reevaluate their practices that have emboldened officers to do such atrocities.
“It’s not really an isolated case,” said Dumpit, per ABS CBN News. You can see it through “the language” and “the applause that comes after each and every killing,” she said. In fact, there have been many applause for such acts in the past.
She also added that the PNP does not share information whenever there’s news of death following a police operation or vigilante killings.
This “non-cooperation,” according to her, shows the police agency does not care about properly responding to those situations.
Do It Wrong and There Will Be Hell to Pay
Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, threatened Nuezca during a public address on Monday. He said to feed the suspect COVID-19, per the Philippine Star.
Critics accuse the president of coddling soldiers and policemen due to his promise of protecting them for their actions, especially in the war against drugs.
On Monday, he said, “do your duty, enforce the law” and added that their actions must follow the law.
He said that during his last State of the Nation Address, he told them that if they did the right thing, he’ll protect them. However, if they did wrong “there will be hell to pay.”