MANILA, Philippines – The People’s Law Enforcement Board of Quezon City (PLEB QC) dismissed from service a Manila policeman for killing a Quezon City traffic enforcer, the local government unit (LGU) said on Tuesday, December 13.
On October 13, Police Lieutenant Felixberto Tiquil shot dead Edgar Follero after he allegedly mistook Follero for a motorcycle thief. Follero was said to be assisting a friend whose motorcycle broke down.
Paul Timothy delos Reyes, the person Follero assisted, and Follero’s partner Charilyn Pagsibigan filed a complaint against Tiquil. By October 14, Police Brigadier General Nicolas Torre III said the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) had charged Tiquil with murder.
In a six-page decision, the PLEB removed Tiquil from service due to grave misconduct unbecoming of a policeman.
According to the Quezon City LGU, Follero was only assisting Delos Reyes, his friend and a delivery rider, as Delos Reyes’ motorcycle broke down in Pandacan, Manila.
Follero, while onboard his own motorcycle, “pushed” Delos Reyes’ motorcycle so the latter could get home. The two reached Roosevelt Avenue in Quezon City, and stopped to pick up Delos Reyes’ motorcycle fairings that had fallen to the ground.
According to the QCPD, at around 3:40 am, Follero and Delos Reyes were in front of Muñoz Market when Tiquil “suddenly appeared” and shot Follero. The Quezon City LGU said the cop shot the traffic enforcer twice “without any warning.”
The QCPD said that, despite Follero’s gunshot wound, he was able to drive his motorcycle to seek help from cops near Muñoz Market at the corner of Roosevelt and EDSA. The police then arrested Tiquil, and Follero was rushed to the Quezon City General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Tiquil claimed that he thought Follero and Delos Reyes were car thieves, but the PLEB did not buy this defense.
“We do not buy the alibi of Tiquil that he shot Follero because of self-defense. He claims to be a seasoned police officer, and yet at the slightest instance, his first instinct is to inflict a mortal wound against an innocent person,” said Rafael Calinisan, the PLEB’s executive officer.
Calinisan, a lawyer, said that this was a clear violation of the Philippine National Police’s Rules of Procedure.
“Further, Tiquil also claims to have chased the victims from Nagtahan, Manila, up to Roosevelt, Quezon City. How can people pushing a defective motorcycle outrun a seasoned cop on a motorbike? We are more than convinced that Tiquil was not being truthful in his narrative of what happened,” Calinisan said.
Follero’s partner Pagsibigan thanked the PLEB for its swift decision. “Wala siyang karapatang maging alagad ng batas dahil sa ginawa niya sa asawa ko ([Tiquil] has no right to be a law enforcer because of what he did to my husband),” she said.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said the PLEB’s decision should serve as a warning that rogue cops will be held accountable in the city.
“The wheels of justice run fast here in Quezon City, without fear or favor. I again commend the PLEB QC for their prompt action in helping out the ‘little one’ in need,” said Belmonte.
Belmonte earlier condemned the incident and offered sympathies to Follero’s family.
“Before he was killed, Edgar was known to be a helpful, friendly, and dutiful member of the Task Force for Transport and Traffic Management. Indeed, his last minutes were spent assisting someone in need, specifically a delivery rider whose motorcycle had broken down,” Belmonte said in an October 14 statement. – Rappler.com