PNP chief Debold Sinas said the Paranaque policeman who shot dead a mother and her son during an altercation in Paniqui, Tarlac last month has been dismissed from the service effective yesterday.
In a press briefing at the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame, Sinas said the administrative penalty on Master Sgt. Jonel Nuezca was implemented by Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office.
The decision came a day after PNP Internal Affairs Service Inspector General Alfregar Triambulo recommended the dismissal of Nuesca, who was found guilty of grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a policeman.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines commended the PNP for dismissing Nuezca, saying this would go a long way in restoring the trust of the public in the PNP and the justice system.
Nuesca admitted during the IAS investigation that he shot Sonya Gregorio, 52, and her son, Frank Anthony, 25, during a confrontation. Last Friday, however, he pled not guilty on double murder charges filed against him before the Tarlac Regional Trial Court. The hearing of the case will resume on February 4, with prosecutors recommending no bail for Nuezca.
While he initially admitted his guilt, Nuesca appealed for leniency, saying he was provoked by the victims, that he voluntarily surrendered, and that he has earned many awards while in the police service, according to Triambulo.
Triambulo said the IAS did not grant Nuesca’s request for leniency because dismissal from the service is the only punishment, under the law, for serious offenses of grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a policeman.
“He is meted the severest administrative penalty of dismissal from the police service effective today. The dismissal was already implemented by the regional director of NCRPO, police Brig. Gen. Vic Danao Jr,” said Sinas.
“As to the criminal case, the criminal case is ongoing and ex-police S/Sgt. Jonnel Nuesca pleaded not guilty of the offense so that’s it, that already complete the cycle of investigation involving ex police S/Sgt. Jonnel Nuesca,” said Sinas.
In a statement, IBP National President Domingo Egon Cayosa said: “The swift action of the
Internal Affairs Service of the PNP on the administrative case of Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca by recommending his dismissal from the service for shooting his neighbors Sonya and Frank Anthony Gregorio is welcome and commendable,” Cayosa said.
“Justice ‘bilis and making the malefactor accountable after due process is the more effective deterrence to crime and misconduct,” Cayosa added.
The killing of Sonya and his son was caught on video and went viral on social media, drawing widespread condemnation from the public, with some calling for reforms in the PNP and a stop to the killings.
Cayosa said they can only hope the PNP-IAS would also be prompt in other administrative cases involving police officers.
Cayosa added they are also looking forward to the swift resolution of the double murder charges against Nuezca.
“More than the severity of the penalty, certainty and promptness of punishment are tested antidotes to criminality,” Cayosa said. – With Ashzel Hachero