CEBU CITY – Mayor Edgardo Labella here has called for a thorough investigation into the killing of a 35-year-old woman who had filed criminal cases against a group of policemen in this city.
Labella said the killing of Ritchie Nepomuceno “has to be looked into relentlessly” by the National Police Commission (Napolcom).
Nepomuceno was gunned down by two motorcycle-riding assailants while standing by the road in Barangay Basak-Pardo Monday night. She was the woman who filed rape and extortion charges against 11 policemen from the Sawang Calero Police Station.
About three hours after Nepomuceno was killed, one of the accused policemen, Police Staff Sgt. Celso Colita, allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself in the head in the toilet in one of the offices of the Police Regional Office-Central Office headquarters in Camp Sergio Osmena here.
Nepomuceno had accused Colita of raping her twice.
“Of course, the accusation of extortion was something serious. It was really bad but it became worse when the complainant herself was shot to death.
That is something that should never be tolerated and of course we urge the Napolcom to look into this relentlessly,” said Labella.
The Cebu City mayor said some Napolcom personnel visited him after the killing.
Labella assured that the city will provide legal assistance to the family. “We have to help them. The husband has come out into the open and we advised him to come to my office or to the City Legal Office so that any legal assistance that he desires, we will give it to him.”
Labella remained firm in his previous order to strip the policemen involved in the controversy of their monthly cash allowance. Stopping the cash allowance should serve as a lesson for erring policemen, he said.
Despite the controversy, Labella said the entire police force in this city should not be dragged into the issue. “I still believe we still have good policemen, dedicated policemen and upholding their sworn duties,” Labella said.