MANILA – Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca, the off-duty cop who was caught on video shooting to death Sonya Gregorio and her son Frank Anthony in Paniqui, Tarlac last month, was dismissed from the service, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Debold Sinas announced on Monday.
“He is meted with administrative penalty of dismissal from service effective today (January 11). This was already implemented by the RD NCRPO (Regional Director, National Capital Region Police Office), Brig. Gen. Vic Danao,” Sinas told reporters in a press briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Sinas ordered the dismissal after he approved the recommendation of the Internal Affairs Service (IAS).
The IAS recommended the cop's dismissal due to the two counts of grave misconduct and two counts of conduct unbecoming of an officer, which is an administrative case.
“As to the criminal cases, it is still ongoing,” Sinas said.
IAS Inspector general Alfegar Triambulo earlier said he had recommended Nuezca's dismissal as probe results revealed his liability on the administrative case leveled against him in connection with the shooting.
Triambulo added that Nuezca’s admission in his position paper that he shot the two victims also served as the basis of their recommendation for dismissal.
Central Luzon police bared recently that Nuezca pleaded not guilty to murder charges filed against him.
He is facing two counts of murder lodged at the Regional Trial Court, Branch 67 of the same town.
The next hearing on his case is on February 4.
IBP lauds PNP action
Meanwhile, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has lauded the PNP for taking prompt action in Nuezca's case.
“The swift action of the Internal Affairs Service of the Philippine National Police on the administrative case of Master Sergeant Nuezca by recommending his dismissal from the service for shooting his neighbors Sonya and Frank Anthony Gregorio is welcome and commendable,” IBP National President Domingo Egon Cayosa said in a statement.
He added that speedy justice and making Nuezca accountable after due process “is the more effective deterrence to crime and misconduct also helps restore the trust of the citizens in our police force and in our justice system".
“We also look forward to the timely resolution of the criminal case pending before the Regional Trial Court. More than the severity of the penalty, certainty and promptness of punishment are tested antidotes to criminality,” he said. (With reports from Benjamin Pulta/PNA)