Caloocan cops involved in killing of shirtless man ordered relieved

NATIONAL Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Oscar Albayalde said Monday, December 4, that he ordered the relief of Caloocan policemen who took part in an anti-criminality operation that resulted in the killing of a man whom they tried to arrest for not wearing a shirt in public.

He said he instructed Caloocan City police chief Senior Superintendent Jemar Modequillo to send Chief Inspector Hector Narciso Cajilles, the chief of police of the Caloocan City police station 6, and his seven men to the NCRPO holding unit while investigation is ongoing.

He said he also asked the Regional Internal Affairs Service to expedite their investigation for the case’s immediate resolution.

“Nagbigay na ako ng instructions sa chief of police, kay Senior Superintendent Modequillo to investigate the matter at kung makakita tayo ng irregularity sa ginawa nila then they will undergo a pre-charge evaluation also,” he said.

(I already gave instructions to the chief of police, Senior Superintendent Modequillo, to investigate the matter and if we find irregularity in the operation, then they will undergo a pre-charge evaluation also.)

“I gave them the directive to investigate and of course ‘yung ating RIAS (Regional Internal Affairs Service) para madaliin ‘yung investigation at mabigyan ng justice ‘yung ating mga pulis kasi baka everytime na mag-operate naman sila ay merong mga ganyang accusations,” he added.

(I gave them the directive to investigate and of course the RIAS for them to hasten the investigation and to give our policemen justice they deserve because everytime they operate they are always being accused.)

Albayalde said he does not want to pre-judge his men involved on the incident.

“Hindi naman kasi tuwing may operation ang ating mga kapulisan ay we assume may kasalanan sila or we assume may irregularity. Just to give them a benefit of the doubt also kasi ma-low morale ang ating kapulisan every time na mag operate sila ay parang hinuhusgahan natin sila,” he said.

(We don't assume irregularities in every operation. We have to give them the benefit of the doubt, or they would suffer from low morale if we judge them every time they conduct an operation.)

Mario Balagtas was killed after he allegedly tried to engage in a gunfight the policemen who tried to arrest him for not wearing a shirt in public in Barangay 178, North Caloocan.

Cajilles said Balagtas rushed to his house and locked himself inside and fired shots at the policemen, prompting them to shoot back at him.

However, one of Balagtas’ neighbors, denied the police claim and said he heard Balagtas pleading for his life before he was gunned down.

"Nagmamakaawa. Naghahagulgol. 'Huwag po, huwag po, hindi po ako lalaban. Tama na po.' Oh ayun na. Sunud-sunod na (ang putok ng baril). Mamaya-maya, tumahimik na. Kaya sabi ko, wala na siguro. Kaya lumabas na ako," the witness said.

(He pleaded and wept: "Please don't. I will not fight back." Then gunshots rang out.)

Police claimed that Balagtas was on their drugs watchlist and was previously arrested for the said offense.

Albayalde earlier ordered the relief of all police personnel assigned at the Caloocan City Police Station over irregularities in their operation that put the entire police office in a bad light.

Some Caloocan policemen were implicated in the August 2017 killing of teenagers Kian Loyd delos Santos and Carl Angelo Arnaiz. Police claimed the two teenagers resisted arrest during separate operations. Witnesses said the boys were kneeling when shot and killed by the police. Some Caloocan police were also implicated in the illegal search of the residence of

Policemen from the NCRPO Regional Public Safety Batallion had replaced the Caloocan cops who underwent re-training. (SunStar Philippines)
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