'No criminal intent': PNP defends homicide charges vs Mandaluyong cops
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) stands by its decision to file homicide – and not murder – charges against the Mandaluyong cops who mistakenly fired at a car and killed two people days before the new year.
PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos told reporters on Thursday, January 4, that homicide is the "appropriate charge" against the policemen involved.
"The record is that is the appropriate charge for the case. Why would we ask for a higher case when there is no criminal intent? We hope that they understand that that is the appropriate case," Carlos said, in response to criticism of the homicide charge.
The PNP filed homicide charges against 10 Mandaluyong cops and 3 village watchmen, after a case of mistaken identity led to the death of two people in December 28.
Police, acting on calls for help of several barangay tanod, ran after and the shot at a vehicle after they were led to believe that it carried armed suspects in an earlier shooting incident in Mandaluyong City.
It turned out that the owner of the vehicle and his companions were bringing the shooting victim, a woman, to the hospital. The woman and the vehicle's driver were killed.
The findings of the PNP Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) tasked to conduct an independe tprobe into the botched operation backed Carlos' statement.
"Treachery and aid of armed men were not purposely sought; at that time they acted in the performance of their duty," said SITG chief Senior Superintendent Florendo Quibuyen.
Quibuyen added that the Mandaluyong cops "were made to believe that the vehicle was armed and there were already exchanges of fire prior to their arrival or prior to the pursuit."
PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa saying that the cops were stupid but had no bad intention in performing their duty. (READ: Dela Rosa: Mandaluyong cops stupid, but had no ill intent)
Meanwhile, the officer-in-charge of the Mandaluyong City Police, Chief Superintendent Reynaldo Biay, assured the public that there would be no coverup in the investigation.
"As the case progresses we are giving you updates, para iparating na walang (to show that there is no) whitewash," Biay told reporters.
Senior Superintendent Moises Villaceran Jr was temporarily relieved as Mandaluyong police chief, along with 10 other cops, after the incident. – Rappler.com