As Filipinos continue to express their anger over the viral Tarlac slay, here comes Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa alleging — without offering solid proof — that killer cop Jonel Nuezca is a drug addict.
Dela Rosa, the former chief of the Philippine National Police, said that Nuezca is an addict because the latter tried to evade mandatory drug testing in December 2015, which resulted in his one-month suspension from the police force.
The lawmaker said this even after Nuezca tested negative in a drug exam that was taken after he surrendered.
“Look at Nuezca’s background; he was already charged for evading drug testing, which means that person is an addict. Why are you trying to evade it? Why are you avoiding drug testing if you are not an addict?” Dela Rosa said in English and Filipino in an interview with the news program Headstart.
“So that sort of action, I’m sure drugs has already affected the mind of that person. His decision making was already affected by the drugs he was taking,” Dela Rosa said.
The former police chief, who filed a bill at the Senate in 2019 that sought to revive capital punishment, said that Nuezca deserves the death penalty for killing his neighbors Sonya Gregorio and her son Frank Anthony Gregorio in their own home.
“I don’t see enough provocation on the part of the victims. That’s too much,” he said of Nuezca’s crime.
Nuezca was caught in a viral video shooting to death his neighbors in Tarlac after their family allegedly lit a bamboo cannon. In the video, Sonya is seen wrapping her arms around Frank to protect the latter from the cop’s wrath, while Nuezca’s daughter told the woman to let go because her father “is a policeman.”
Sonya sarcastically responded by singing the 2ne1 song “I Don’t Care,” which angered Nuezca. Using his service firearm, the policeman shot her point-blank, then killed Frank. Nuezca, who was off-duty at that time, fled the crime scene with his daughter but surrendered about an hour after the killing.
Critics are now saying that a culture of impunity has become fully entrenched in the police force as a result of President Rodrigo Duterte’s numerous public directives for cops to kill suspects without mercy. However, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, who oversees the police, said that the Tarlac slay is an isolated incident and that 99% of cops are “good.”
Dela Rosa, who started Duterte’s drug war in 2016 when he was the country’s police chief, agreed with Año.
“Please do not judge the profession. Judge the person… That [killing] is just being used by critics who want to ruin our government,” he said.
Non-profit organization Human Rights Watch said the Tarlac slay is proof that Filipino cops “are simply out of control.”
“It took place in the context of an enabling environment for police violence that President Duterte himself has encouraged. Countless times, Duterte has excused police misconduct and promised to let them off the hook,” it said in a statement.