The Philippine National Police is keeping track of cases filed against PNP personnel amid reports that some police officers have gone into hiding after being charged in court.
Speaking to ANC’s Rundown, PNP spokesperson Jean Fajardo confirmed some police officers have gone AWOL after cases were filed against them.
“If in case there are arrest warrants issued against them, you can be assured that the PNP will help in locating these PNP personnel who went AWOL and bring them to the jurisdiction of the court once they are located,” she said.
Asked if the conviction of a Caloocan cop for the torture and killing of 2 teenagers is an “isolated incident of justice” amid the thousands of killings during the drug war, she said the police force is constantly reviewing its strategies and will follow what is written in PNP policies.
“We should also consider the ballooning number of cases clogging our dockets. We really cannot control the progress of these cases,” she said.
A Manila court found earlier this month that police officers Jefrey Perez and Ricky Arquilita tortured 2 teenagers in 2017. The officers also planted a weapon and drugs on one of the victims.
Caloocan cop convicted of planting evidence, torturing teenage drug war victims Carl Arnaiz, KulotThe teens — Reynaldo De Guzman, 14, and Carl Arnaiz, 19 — were later killed by the same officers, the court said.
Perez was jailed for life for planting evidence and given a minimum sentence of 20 years for torture, according to the court ruling.
Arquilita died during the trial.
During his 6-year term, which ended in June, President Duterte openly ordered police to shoot dead drug suspects if officers’ lives were in danger.
More than 6,200 people died in his anti-drug campaign, according to official figures. But rights groups estimate the true figure was in the tens of thousands.
DISMISSED FROM SERVICE
In the interview, Fajardo said Perez had already been dismissed from the PNP service in 2018 as a result of the administrative and criminal charges filed against him in connection with the Arnaiz and De Guzman killings.
She said Perez was charged with grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a police officer, resulting in his dismissal.
“We never and will never condone any wrongdoing conducted by police officers/ What happened in this case is an isolated case. These are 2 police officers who committed illegal acts and do not reflect the culture of the whole PNP organization,” she said.
She added: “These convictions (are) a clear indication that our criminal justice system is working. The conviction of this police officer would be a grim reminder to all of us police officers that no one is above the law. Even police officers are governed by law. Once you transgress the laws, there is a consequence for your actions.”