16 police officers charged for criminals’ death

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

MURDER charges were filed against 16 police officers implicated in the death of two members of the notorious Ozamis robbery hold-up gang on July 15, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Thursday.

The policemen facing complaints before the San Pedro, Laguna Prosecutor’s Office were Police Superintendent Danilo Mendoza, Senior Inspector Fernando Cardona, Senior Inspector Manuel Magat, Inspector Efren Oco, SPO1 Jason Semacas, SPO1 Joseph Ortega, SPO1 Genaro de Gala, PO3 Marvin Mejia and PO3 Ramil Gonzales.

Also charged by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for killing gang leader Ricky Cadavero and Wilfredo Panogalinga were PO3 Sherwin Bulan, PO3 Gerardo Tugot, PO2 Eduardo Cruz, PO2 Kristofferson Reyes, PO2 Exiel Reyes, PO2 Conrado Bautista Jr. and PO1 Ryan Rey Gado.

Cadavero and Panogalinga were killed in San Pedro, Laguna after an alleged attempt to rescue them while on their way to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

The two came from an inquest proceeding in Dasmariñas, Cavite when motorcycle-riding men fired at the police van. Reports said they allegedly tried to take away the guns from police escorts before they were shot.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who refused to buy the police account, ordered the NBI to probe the incident. She said the incident could have been prevented if the inquest on the high-profile criminals was done inside the NBP.

True enough, Tugot told the NBI that no ambush took place.

He said there was no commotion inside the van immediately prior to the shooting of the victims and that Magat directed him to fire at the van's windshield and right front tire to make it appear that a surprise attack occurred.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Alan Purisima earlier relieved officers involved in the incident including Calabarzon Regional Director Benito Estipona.

The gang is tagged in the series of robberies in some malls in Metro Manila in 2012. Cadavero, who was sentenced to suffer 67 years in jail, bolted the NBP last December before he was recaptured. (Sunnex)

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