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Metro

Arrest warrants out today for 8 cops in Parañaque shootout

- Aie Balagtas See - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - A Parañaque City judge will issue today the warrants of arrest for eight members of the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) earlier ordered arrested by the Court of Appeals in connection with a controversial shootout in Parañaque in December 2008.

Judge Jaime Guray told The STAR that he received a copy of the CA ruling yesterday.

“As a (trial court) judge I respect the decision of the higher court and will comply with it,” Guray said, adding that he will not entertain any motions from both the prosecution and the defense to stop the trial of the eight accused policemen.

“There is nothing that can stop me. Only the Supreme Court can do that because the ruling of the CA is very clear, and that is to proceed with the trial,” he said.

Twenty-five policemen were originally charged with murder but the lower court earlier dismissed the case against the eight HPG policemen.

The case against them was brought before the CA.

The CA allowed the filing of criminal charges against the eight policemen involved in the shootout.

The appellate court reversed a 2010 ruling of the Parañaque RTC that cleared Chief Inspectors Lawrence Cajipe and Joel Mendoza, Inspector Gerardo Balacutan, PO3 Jolito Mamanao Jr., PO3 Fernando Rey Gapuz, PO2 Eduardo Blanco, PO2 Edwin Santos, and PO1 Josil Rey Lucena.

The case stemmed from the the death of Alfonso de Vera and daughter Lia Allan who were caught in crossfire while the accused policemen were chasing a group of robbers on Dec. 5, 2008.

The De Veras were onboard an Isuzu Crosswind SUV when the responding policemen mistook their vehicle as the getaway car.

The CA also ordered their immediate arrest and the lower court to proceed with the trial.

The CA said Guray committed an error in immediately dismissing the cases against Cajipe and his team that served as blocking force during the police operation.

Seventeen members of the PNP- Special Action Force were acquitted for lack of evidence.

Meanwhile, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) yesterday lauded the CA decision reversing a lower court’s ruling that cleared the eight policemen.

- With Sandy Araneta

A PARA CHIEF INSPECTORS LAWRENCE CAJIPE AND JOEL MENDOZA COURT COURT OF APPEALS DE VERAS EDUARDO BLANCO EDWIN SANTOS FERNANDO REY GAPUZ GURAY INSPECTOR GERARDO BALACUTAN ISUZU CROSSWIND
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