Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Archie Gamboa last night ordered the relief of 11 Bulacan policemen who were allegedly involved in the killing of six suspects in a fake drug raid in San Jose Del Monte City in February.
Gamboa said in a statement that the alleged erring cops’ actions are “purely their own and are not sanctioned by any official orders, policy, or regulation.”
He added that the cops, who have also been placed under restrictive custody, have to be “relieved from [their] duty to eliminate any suspicion of whitewash or coddling.”
The police chief’s statement comes after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which probed the case, yesterday filed charges against the 11 officers: Major Leo Commendador dela Rosa; Staff Sargeants Benjie Enconado, Jayson Legaspi, Irwin Yuson, and Edmund Catubay Jr.; Corporals Jay Leoncio, Herbert Hernandez, Raymond Bayan, and Raul Malgapo; and Patrolmen Erwin Sabido and Rusco Madla.
They were charged for kidnapping with murder, and for allegedly violating the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act and the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
According to the NBI, the cops arrested six men after they were seen passing by the house of a suspected drug pusher. The suspects were then brought to a police station, although their arrests were never recorded. It was while in detention that the suspects allegedly tried to fight back the arresting officers, who claimed they had to kill the group out of self-defense. In addition, the cops alleged that illegal guns and drugs were found in the suspects’ possession.
The bodies of the six men were found in different parts of San Jose Del Monte City in February. It’s unclear why they weren’t discovered in the police station where they were detained and shot to death.
Thousands of drug suspects have been killed by members of the PNP because they allegedly fought back (“nanlaban“). However, a 2019 report by Amnesty International found that some of these suspects did not even own guns, and a separate investigation conducted by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights concluded that pieces of evidence were planted by the police to make it appear that their victims were involved in the drug trade.
This article, Bulacan cops relieved for allegedly killing 6 suspects in fake drug bust, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!