Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has condemned the killing of two unarmed victims at point-blank by an active member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) last Dec. 20 in Paniqui, Tarlac.
De Lima, a known human rights defender here and abroad, said the recent killing – which was captured on video – further highlighted the reigning culture of violence and abuses in the country tolerated and encouraged by no less than Mr. Duterte.
“A ghastly and bestial murder! That was an execution style murder. Equally alarming is how a kid, who is said to be the cop’s daughter, reportedly didn’t even flinch at the sight of two unarmed people being gunned down,” she said, noting that her staff members told her about the details in the video.
“Appaling and shocking! Walang puso at konsensya lamang ang kayang gumawa ng ganitong karumal-dumal at kalunos-lunos na krimen. This is another incident that desensitizes the public towards violence and cruelty, a proof that authorities can go overboard with abuse of power especially when you give them a license to ‘kill, kill, kill,’” she added.
“Dahil sa mga berdugong pahayag at paghimok ni Duterte na pumatay, kahit sa pinakamaliit na dahilan, pumapatay na ang mga pulis!,” she lamented.
Last Dec. 20, a video of the said shooting incident circulated on social media, showing a man engaging in a heated confrontation with two people, including an elderly, before drawing his gun and shooting them.
According to reports, the suspect was identified as PSMS Jonel Nuezca, 46, assigned in Parañaque City Crime Laboratory. The victims, meanwhile, were identified as Sonya Gregorio, 52, and Frank Anthony Gregorio, 25, both residents of Brgy. Cabayaoasan, Paniqui, Tarlac.
Nuezca reportedly surrendered at Rosales police station in Pangasinan about an hour after the incident.
De Lima, the staunchest critic of the government’s murderous “War on Drugs”, said this kind of atrocity should remind Mr. Duterte and his allies to finally stop prevalent climate of violence and abuses that provides the authorities and the vigilantes the impunity in committing crimes and grave human rights violations without fear of accountability.
“Isa na naman itong patunay na sa ilalim ng rehimeng Duterte, lalong lumakas ang loob ng mga mamamatay-tao at mga abusado sa kapangyarihan. Baril na ang namamagitan sa sibilyan at pulis, hindi na batas at proseso ng law enforcement. At palala nang palala,” she said.
“Kung walang pag-aalinlangan ang pulis na ito na gawin ito sa harap ng maraming tao, ano na lang ang kaya pa niyang gawin kung walang ibang nakakakita?!” she added.
Likewise, De Lima extended her sympathies to the families of victims as she urged the public to continue calling for an end to killings and demanding for justice and accountability for all the murders happening in the country.
“Nakikiramay ako sa pamilya at mga mahal sa buhay ng mga biktima ng mga walang habas na pamamaslang, na sasalubungin ang nalalapit na Pasko na puno ng hinagpis at pangungulila. I hope and pray that you get the justice that you deserve swiftly,” she said.
“Palakasin pa natin ang ating panawagan at pagkilos para labanan ang mga karumal-dumal na krimeng ito, at huwag hayaang maging normal ang ganitong karahasan at kawalang pananagutan sa lipunan, lalo na sa mata ng mga bata,” she added. (30)