The viral video left no room for doubt: Police Senior Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca’s two neighbors died at his gun-wielding hands. With the video clearly showing the shooting incident, netizens are understandably outraged when the cop pleaded not guilty to the murder charges filed against him.
While the cop’s audacity to deny the charges caused a great deal of frustration among law-abiding Filipinos, this was somewhat soothed by a recent, albeit belated, move by the police towards pursuing justice.
On Jan. 11, the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced the dismissal of Nuezca from his post at the Parañaque City Police Crime Lab. According to PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas during a press briefing at Camp Crame, Nuezca’s firing comes after the PNP Internal Affairs Service’s resolution of the administrative case against the erring policeman for grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a police officer.
Sinas said the dismissal, which came almost a month after the incident, has been implemented by National Capital Region Police Office’s regional director Vicente Danao Jr.
On Dec. 20, Nuezca fired his gun at two of his neighbors, 52-year-old Sonya Gregorio and her son Frank Anthony, in Tarlac after a brief altercation. Both victims died, and a video of the shooting went viral after being posted on social media. Nuezca then surrendered to authorities and was detained at Tarlac’s Paniqui Municipal Police Office.
During his arraignment on Jan. 7 and despite evidence presented by the viral video, Nuezca pleaded “not guilty,” according to Police Regional Office 3’s public information officer Lt. Col. Soledad Elifanio. Nuezca is facing two counts of murder, with his next hearing scheduled on Feb. 4.
Hopefully, Nuezca’s dismissal is a sign that the people’s cry for justice has been taken seriously—and that this won’t be another heinous crime buried and forgotten.