Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa has ordered the relief of 11 police officers in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan for the alleged killing of six people during a buy-bust in February.
“I will not tolerate any wrongdoing in the service. Those accused must be made to answer for their criminal acts. In the meantime, it is best that they are relieved from duty to eliminate any suspicion of whitewash or coddling,” Gamboa said in a media statement Thursday night.
He ordered Brig. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia, Police Regional Office 3 (Central Luzon) director to place the 11 policemen under restrictive custody to ensure their availability to face investigation by the National Prosecution Service (NPS) and the internal investigation by the PNP.
Gamboa said the unlawful actions of the indicted policemen are purely their own and are not sanctioned by any official orders, policy, or regulation.
He also assured full cooperation with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in its probe on the incident.
Gamboa said the indictment and preliminary investigation proceedings guarantee the right of the respondents to due process.
Named respondents in the information filed by NBI before the NPS for alleged kidnapping with murder were City Drug Enforcement Unit (CDEU) chief, Maj. Leo dela Rosa, and his subordinates, Staff Sergeants Benjie Enconado, Jayson Legaspi, Irwin Yuson, Edmund Catubay Jr.; Corporals Jay Leoncio, Herbert Hernandez, Raymond Bayan, Raul Malgapo; and Patrolmen Erwin Sabido and Rusco Madla.
The respondents were also accused of violating Section 38, Article V of Republic Act 10591, or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act; and Section 29, Article II of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The NBI said they found sufficient basis to hold the policemen liable for the deaths of Erwin Mergal and Jim Joshua Cordero, who were allegedly abducted along with Edmar Asprin, Richard Salgado, Chamberlain Domingo, and Chadwin Santos, last February 13.
The NBI filed the case on behalf of the complainants Jasmin, who is the widow of Mergal, and Rochill, the mother of Cordero.