Friday, September 20, 2019

PNP-HPG cops face raps over killing of unarmed motorist

THE brother of a motorist killed by two Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) officers last week filed criminal complaints before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday.

Robert Dela Riarte, the brother of slain motorcycle driver John Dela Riarte—who was gunned down in Edsa on July 29—was represented by Public Attorney's Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda-Acosta.

PAO after conducting series of investigations filed four cases against Police Officer (PO) 2 Jonjie Manon-og and PO3 Jeremiah De Villa.

According to PAO, the two policemen will face murder charges for allegedly killing Dela Riarte, as well as robbery charges for allegedly taking the money of the victim amounting to P33,040.

The two will also face complaints for violation of the anti-torture act for punching the victim on his stomach with a gun, slapping him on the face and hitting him with an elbow on his back. They were also charged with violation of the Republic Act 7438 for placing the suspect Dela Riarte under custody without assisting counsel.

Acosta said that PAO will also file an administrative charges against the cops before the National Police Commission.

A portion of the incident was filmed and became viral online. The altercation between the victim and the two suspects allegedly stemmed from a vehicular collision between Dela Riarte and another motorist.

Dela Riarte not aggressive

PAO said that the panel, created to investigate the case of Dela Riarte, believes that the victim did not resist arrest, contrary to the spot report of the PNP-HPG.

"He was calm and unarmed during the arrest, yung mga salita nila ay hindi tumutugma sa katotohanan," Acosta said in press conference before they filed the case with the DOJ.

PAO also countered the report of the PNP claiming that the victim was shot twice as well as the report of the NBI medico legal officer that four gunshot wounds were found in Dela Riarte's body.

It was revealed by PAO forensic laboratory director Dr. Erwin Erfe in his own forensic report that Dela Riarte was in fact shot five times.

"The victims sustained five entry wounds and two exit wounds in the body," Erfe said.

Erfe in his forensic report concluded that the manner of death of Dela Riarte is "intentional” and the cause of his death is “multiple gunshot wounds."

The officer said PAO will wait for the autopsy report to be submitted by the NBI to compare the findings.

'John not drug addict'

Dela Riarte's brother, Robert, said the victim was not a drug addict, contrary to the rumors that Dela Riarte was shot to death because he was a drug pusher.

"Hindi kami papayag na yurakan ang pagkatao ng kapatid ko...Hindi adik ang kapatid ko at hindi baliw," Robert said.

Acosta said that John was also found to be negative in the use of illegal drugs.

"Pinalabas na high siya sa drugs pero negative siya sa drugs," Acosta said.

"May certification ang baranggay nila na wala sila sa listahan ng mga drug addict sa kanyang baranggay," she added.

Robert appealed to PNP chief Ronald Dela Rosa to prioritize the case of his brother.

“PNP chief tulungan niyo po kami. May tiwala pa rin po kami sa mga kapulisan," he said. (Sunnex)
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