The chief of police of Bato Municipal Police Station in Catanduanes was sacked from his post for reportedly posting insensitive comments that was perceived to be justifying the cold-bloodied murder of a mother and son in Tarlac on Sunday.
Brig. Gen. Bartolome Bustamante, director of the Police Regional Office 5 in Bicol, said Capt. Ariel Baruga is also being investigated for the comments he posted in his Facebook account, the probe is now being conducted by the Catanduanes Provincial Police Office.
“Effective today, an order is issued by the PD (Provincial Director) of Catanduanes for the relief of the COP (Chief of Police) upon the request of the Mayor,” Bustamante told the Manila Bulletin in a phone interview.
On Monday, Baruga posted a comment in his Facebook account about the viral video wherein Police Senior Master Sgt. Jonel Nuezca was seen shooting a 52-year old woman and her 25-year old son in the head at close range.
“My Father is a POliceeeee Mannnnn ha!!! I don’t care eh eh eh eh err!!! [email protected]#ng ina mo gusto mo tapusin kita ngayon???? Bang Bang Bang Bang..,” Baruga’s post read, referring to the words heard in the video from Nuezca’s daughter, Sonya Gregorio and Nuezca.
READ MORE: Cop in viral Tarlac shooting surrenders
The video showed Nuezca’s daughter yelling at Sonya Gregorio that her father is a policeman to which the latter shouted back that she doesn’t care. This was seen as the trigger that led to the shooting.
“Lesson Learn (sic) kahit puti na ang buhok o ubanin na tayo eh matututo tayong rumispeto sa ating mga Kapulisan.. mahirap kalaban ang Pagtitimpi at pagpapasensya.. RIP Nanay and Totoy,” Baruga added in his post, which was interpreted by netizens as mocking the two victims and justifying the killing.
At the comment section, one of the netizen asked if it was Sonya’s fault, to which Baruga replied: ‘Opo (yes)’.
Upon monitoring Baruga’s post, Bato Mayor Juan Rodulfo sent a letter to the Provincial Director of Catanduanes PPO, Col. Brian Castillo, asking to have Baruga replaced as chief of police of Bato Municipal Police Station.
“We find it disturbing that the PNP-Bato Muncipal Police Station Chief of Police, Capt. Ariel R Baruga, has posted in his Facebook account that the slain mother was at fault because she did not give due respect to the policeman prompting him to shoot her fatally,” the letter read.
Bustamante said that Baruga will also be investigated for possible administrative case.