Killer cop Nuezca pleads not guilty of murder he was filmed committing

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
Killer cop Nuezca pleads not guilty of murder he was filmed committing
Carmel Rufino, 94, sits beside the caskets of daughter Sonya Gregorio and grandson Frank Anthony at their wake in Paniqui, Tarlac yesterday. Right inset shows suspect Master Sgt. Jonel Nuezca in his cell at the Paniqui police station in Tarlac.
Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — Police SMSgt. Jonel Nuezca pleaded not guilty to carrying out the grisly killings of a mother and her son in Paniqui, Tarlac earlier in December despite being caught on camera doing so. 

Videos of the incident spread like wildfire on social media in the days after the murders, showing Nuezca shooting 52-year-old Sonya Gregorio and her son Frank Anthony Gregorio—both unarmed—at point-blank range during an argument.

"Putangina, gusto mo tapusin na kita ngayon? (Son of a bitch, do you want me to end you right now?)" Nuezca is heard saying in the middle of a heated exchange with the two in the video.

He then suddenly pulled out a pistol, revealed later on to be his service pistol with the police, and shot them both in the head. 

READ: 'No such thing' as culture of violence, impunity in the PNP — spokesperson

Despite this evidence, Police Brig. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, who serves as Central Luzon police director, told The STAR that Nuezca was arraigned at the Paniqui, Tarlac Regional Trial Court Branch 106 on Thursday where he entered a “not guilty” plea.

De Leon added that the next hearing for Nuezca’s case is scheduled on Thursday, February 4.

Police Gen. Debold Sinas, the chief of the national police, disclosed earlier that the resolution on the administrative cases filed against Nuezca is due Monday, January 11. The PNP's Internal Affairs Service earlier expressed confidence Nuezca will be dismissed from the service given the video evidence held against him. 

According to Sinas, the killer cop has since been transferred to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Tarlac. 

Calls for reform within the agency resounded in the days following the killings, when ranking government officials including Police Brig. Gen. Brandi Usana, the spokesperson of the PNP, were quick to condemn the killing but asserted that it was an "isolated incident."

READ: 'Isolated incident': Despite Tarlac killings, no policy changes in PNP ahead

with a report from The STAR/Neil Jayson Servallos

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