Police suspects in cop’s killing released

MANILA. Police Captain Roland Moralde.
MANILA. Police Captain Roland Moralde.Photo from PNP

THE Maguindanao del Norte prosecutor’s office has ordered the release of two police officers who voluntarily surrendered over their alleged involvement in the killing of Captain Roland Moralde.

In a press conference in Camp Crame, Philippine National Police (PNP) Public Information Office Chief Colonel Jean Fajardo said the Maguindanao del Norte prosecutor’s office issued an order on May 7, 2024 instructing the release of Police Master Sergeants Aladdin Ramalan and Shariff Balading.

Ramalan and Balading were released on May 8.

The prosecutor’s office questioned the two policemen’s detention following a “warrantless arrest” and it also noted that the complaint affidavit does not contain necessary evidence to prove the essential elements of murder.

The complaint was recommended for further case build-up.

MANILA. Police Captain Roland Moralde.
Murder raps filed vs 2 cops, 3 others in police official’s killing

On May 2, Moralde a member of the Regional Mobile Force Company (RMFB) 14, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm), accosted Mohiden Ramalan Untal, who was carrying a short firearm on his waist at the public market in Barangay Poblacion 2 in Parang, Maguindanao del Norte.

A shootout ensued after the confrontation between Moralde and Untal, leading to the death of the latter.

As Moralde tried to find cover, five other suspects, all were Untal’s relatives, including Ramalan and Balading, arrived at the scene and engaged in the gun fight that resulted in the killing of Moralde.

Fajardo said that in response, the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Region (PRO-BAR) maintained in its position paper that Ramalan and Balading voluntarily turned themselves in following their implication in the incident.

It noted that the surrender was properly documented and was witnessed by one of the suspect’s sisters.

“The blotter was submitted as supporting evidence sa sinampang complaint,” said Fajardo.

“They were not arrested by virtue of warrantless arrest but in fact voluntary surrendered, hence ‘yung arrest and surrender po are distinct and separate concepts. Ang act ng voluntary surrender cannot and will never be a subject of arrest as contemplated in the existing rules of court,” she added.

In order to support their murder complaints, the PRO-BAR also submitted CCTV footages of the incident which they believe “will suffice and constitute prima facie evidence to prove that indeed what happened with Captain Moralde constitute murder.”

“Ang isinumite na evidence ang mismong death cert ni Captain Moralde at kayo rin nakapanood ang CCTV at very clear sa CCTV footage na walang kalaban-laban po, nakadapa na po, nakahiga na po sa lupa ay pinagbabaril po siya hanggat mamatay. Ang kopya ng CCTV ang inextract to serve as evidence,” said Fajardo.

The PNP spokesperson said the PRO-BAR is already seeking the transfer of the case to the regional level or in Manila, noting an information that the fiscal is a relative of the two police suspects.

“We also received info that the two suspects may be related by affinity by the relative of the prosecutor but it has to be validated, it was one of the considerations as mentioned by the Regional Director of PRO-BAR,” said Fajardo.

Fajardo said that on May 10, the PRO-BAR issued an order putting Ramalan and Balading, who were relieved from their respective posts, under restrictive custody within the PRO-BAR headquarters.

She said they committed to turn themselves in on May 13.

Ramalan was assigned at the Matanog Municipal Police Station at the time of the incident while Balading was assigned at the Rajah Buayan Municipal Police Station.

Fajardo said they are also looking as to why Ramalan and Balading were in Parang at the time of the incident, and this will be part of the administrative complaint against them.

Matanog is 24.7 kilometers away from Parang, Maguindanao del Norte, while Rajah Bauayan is almost 90 kilometers away from the place of incident. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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