Tondo teenager killed by Manila cop buried; family seeks justice
MANILA, Philippines – “Aldrinne, I told you I wouldn’tcare about that policeman anymore if you would just live! I told you, right? Just live!” said an inconsolable Michelle Pineda before her 13-year old son was laid to rest on Wednesday, March 14, at Manila North Cemetery, Manila.
Aldrinne Pineda was hanging out with his friends on the fence of a slaughterhouse in Katarungan Street, Vitas, Tondo, Manila on March 2, when a masked man who seemed to be “securing the area” held up his flashlight over the teenager and shot him.
A few days after, a cop surrendered to Manila Police District (MPD), claiming responsibility for the death of the child. PO2 Omar Malinao claims, however, that the shooting was a mere accident, as he fell on the ground and accidentally pulled the gun's trigger. Malinao is considered a person of interest by the MPD.
On Wednesday afternoon, before Aldrinne was laid to rest, friends and family of the teenager gathered for a burial mass in Risen Christ Parish, Tondo.
Activist priest Flavie Chalaf presided over the mass. It was co-celebrated by “running priest” Robert Reyes and Father Albert Alejo.
In the homily, Father Alejo reminded the mother Michelle she should not blame herself for Aldrinne's death.
“I hope you do not blame yourself for this,” Alejo said. “You did not lack as a parent. There is someone accountable for this crime.”
“They [the police] are following orders from above. They are also victims of this criminal governance of our society,” Alejo added.
Alejo also admitted the church has it own shortcomings in this climate of violence. “Forgive us, Aldrinne, for our shortcomings. I admit, the church has its own faults,” he said.
On March 8, the Commission on Human Rights submitted a complaint against the alleged cop on behalf of Michelle Pineda to the Office of the Ombudsman — received on Tuesday, March 13.
The complaint was accompanied by the sworn statements of "Nano," the teenage friend of Aldrinne who witnessed the crime; Michelle Pineda, mother of the victim; PO2 Omar Malinao, formerly assigned at Raxabago Police Station (PS-1); PSI Dave Abarra, immediate supervisior of Malinao in PS-1; and Police Superindent Jay Dimaandal, Raxabago Police Station Commander.
The incident report filed by the Raxabago Police Station is categorized as “re-Stray bullet.”
Joel Sarmenta of the Commission on Human Rights told Rappler after the burial that the family is determined to make the alleged accountable for the teenager’s death, hence the submission to the Ombudsman.
In April last year, the same police station where the alleged shooter was assigned, had a secret jail hidden behind a bookshelf during a surprise jail inspection held by a team from Commission on Human Rights. Its former Station Commander Robert Domingo was transferred to another police station in Manila. – Rappler.com