Summary hearings set

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Policemen involved in the Midtown murders will now face summary hearings.

Benguet Police Provincial director Rodolfo Azurin said the administrative case against Police Officer 2 Frenzel Mendoza, Police Officer 3 Cid Acop and Nemer Comising and Police Officer 2 Maferson Santiago, all from the La Trinidad Police, will now proceed to the next phase.

Azurin said the Benguet Police Office has formally submitted their recommendation to the Police Regional Office calling for summary hearing procedures.

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Mendoza is the lone gunman and suspect to the double murder of Cesar Degay and security personnel Sonny Caswang Awingan as well as frustrated homicide of Reymar Cosendo Copis, who survived the shooting spree of the police officer.

Aside from the administrative case, Mendoza now faces double murder charges as well as frustrated homicide raps now in local courts.

The Degay family lament there is still no clear chronology of events which led to the brutal shooting of Degay. Motive on why Mendoza shot Degay multiple times has not yet been established.

Azurin said all will be revealed during the summary hearings of the police foursome who may face a separation from the force as a result of their actions during the fatal night.

The SOCO report, which was relayed to the family, revealed Degay was shot four times, thrice on the body; one bullet went to his head.

The family is also frustrated saying the scene of the crime is only meters from the nearest police substation at the foot of the provincial capitol within hearing and running distance from on duty police officers but according to them, not one responded to the sound of gunshots.

Azurin said the supervising officers of the policemen in question have been relieved. Chief of Police Byron Allatog was relieved from duty a day after the crime.

Azurin’s questions on procedures during the arrest and detention of Mendoza hours after the crime will also be taken up during the summary hearings.

The family vowed to pursue the case in all legal avenues. They are represented by lawyer Dong Paredes.

Azurin, summary hearing officer, will determine if the proceedings will be open to the public.

After the summary hearings, Police Regional Director Isagani Nerez will review the case and decide the fate of Mendoza, Acop, Comising and Santiago.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 27, 2014.

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