Senator Maria Josefa Imelda R. Marcos on Tuesday said a police sergeant who shot dead a mother and son in Paniqui, Tarlac last Sunday is likely to have several protectors within and outside the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Marcos, chairwoman of the Senate economic affairs, suspected that the murder suspect, Staff Sergeant Jonel Montales Nuezca, “could even be a regular hitman.”
“Sino mga padrino nito? (Who are this guy’s sponsors?) The guy is clearly inured to shooting people like target practice, using his service firearm,” she said.
Nuezca’s police record shows his involvement last year in two cases of homicide, both of which were either dropped or dismissed.
He was also suspended for refusing to take a drug test in 2014 but dodged a case of grave misconduct in 2013 and of serious neglect of duty in 2016 for failing to appear as a prosecution witness in a drug case.
“His immediate superiors must be automatically included in the investigation, according to Republic Act (R.A.) 8551,” Marcos said, citing the law meant to reform and reorganize the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“Republic Act 8551 needs to be amended and strengthened. Clear lapses are being committed in the psychological and drug tests for police personnel, as well as the periodic review of their behavior,” she explained.
Marcos said a strong padrino (protector) and frat system was defeating the PNP’s efforts since 2018 to prevent influence-peddling in police recruitment through the RONMEDDS (Robust, Neuro-Psychiatric, Medical and Dental System) program.
The RONMEDDS program that bar-codes regional health service processes was put in place because the results of periodic psychological and drug tests were being bought or negotiated by political sponsors and classmates of police recruits and personnel, Marcos said.
Marcos, a former Ilocos Norte governor, also called on the PNP to “stop the proliferation of illegal firearms especially in the northern provinces.”