Palace: Duterte will not tolerate cop who killed neighbors in Tarlac

Malacañang insisted Monday that President Rodrigo Duterte will not protect and tolerate the police officer who shot dead his neighbors in Paniqui, Tarlac, yesterday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque vowed Police Senior Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca would be punished for his crime.

“Bakit ho poprotektahan ni Presidente ‘yan, hindi naman po ‘yan service-related. Iyan po ay pribadong bagay. Nagkataon lang pulis siya pero kinakailangan siyang managot,” Roque said at a news conference.

“Ito po ay tatratuhin na ordinaryong murder cases at iimbestigahan, kakasuhan, lilitisin at paparusahan po natin ang pulis na ‘yan, no ifs, no buts.”

The suspect, identified as Police SSgt. Jonel Nuezca, who was assigned to the Crime laboratory, killed Sonia Rufino, 52, and her son Frank Anthony Rufino, 25, in the head at Purok 2, Brgy. Cabayaoasan in Paniqui, Tarlac.

According to Police Lt. Col. Noriel Rombaoa, chief of the Paniqui police, Nuezca confronted Rufino, who allegedly used “boga,” an improvised noisemaker made from a PVC pipe.

“Pumunta yung police sa bahay ng biktima at nagkaroon ng pagtatalo, naungkat ang matagal na nilang alitan sa right-of-way,” he said.

However, during the argument, an old issue of right-of-way resurfaced, which further fueled the fight.

Palace: Duterte will not tolerate cop who killed neighbors in Tarlac

Nuezca surrendered to authorities in Pangasinan.

Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the incident was plain cold murder and an isolated case.

“That is plain, simple cold murder… napakalinaw naman na hindi lumalaban ang victims,” Año told GMA News Online.

“We do not and will never tolerate such acts, and we will make sure that he will account for his crimes,” Año said in a separate statement.

“I have likewise directed PNP chief Police General Debold Sinas to extend assistance to the family of the victims at this time of bereavement,” he added.

Año also defended the PNP and said, “The sin of Nuezca is not the sin of the entire Philippine National Police. As we have seen during this pandemic, they place their very lives on the line as frontliners in our COVID response.”