POLICE will look into possible lapses and accountability of two cops following the killing of two self-confessed hitmen while onboard a police mobile on their way back to jail, an official said Wednesday, February 27.
Manila Police District Station 4 spokesperson Senior Inspector Phillip Ines said Police Officer (PO) 1 Joven Miguel and PO2 Mark De Lima were given time to rest and recover from trauma following Tuesday's (February 26) incident.
The killing happened around 4 p.m. Tuesday when six motorcycle-riding gunmen blocked the police mobile carrying De Lima, Miguel and two self-confessed gun-for-hire members, Apolonio Flores and Patrick Cortes, who underwent inquest proceedings in a Manila court.
The gunmen disarmed and ordered De Lima and Miguel, at a gunpoint, to alight from the police mobile and lie face down.
The gunmen then shot Flores and Cortes dead and fled.
Ines said Miguel and De Lima will also be subjected to a probe over their possible failure to follow police operational procedure.
Flores was arrested on Monday, February 25, for violation of the Commission on Elections gun ban and illegal possession of firearms.
Police found in his cellphone "kill orders" from an alleged middleman, prompting the cops to conduct a follow-up investigation.
Cortez, the middleman, was arrested during an operation conducted in Tondo, Manila.
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Chief Guillermo Eleazar said the killing of Flores and Cortez could have been ordered by drug syndicates, as they admitted that they work for them, particularly by killing drug pushers who fail to remit money from drug transactions.
He said the killed suspects were receiving P20,000 for every killing.
"Siguro, para lang kumbaga mabusalan na ang anumang nalalaman nitong mga 'to kaya inisip na nung mga grupong nakabangga na talagang patahimikin na itong mga naaresto nating suspect (They could have been killed to silence them)," said Eleazar.
But Eleazar said it is also possible that erring policemen are involved in the killing. He did not elaborate his statement as investigation is ongoing.
The Manila Police District has formed a task force to investigate the incident. (SunStar Philippines)