Cop who shot dead teen in drug sting identified

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - June 24, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Probers have identified the policemen who fired the shots that killed a 16-year-old boy and his companion in a drug sting in Biñan, Laguna.

The slugs recovered from the body of Jhondie Helis matched the caliber .45 pistol of the policeman with the rank of senior master sergeant, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said yesterday, citing the results of the investigation of a fact-finding task group.

Meanwhile, a bullet recovered from Helis’ companion Antonio Dalit matched the caliber .45 pistol of a commissioned officer.

Eleazar did not identify the policemen, who were among the 10 personnel of the Laguna police placed under restrictive custody.

He said probers have yet to determine if there was a shootout between the policemen and the fatalities.

“There’s a presumption of regularity in the conduct of this operation, unless there are witnesses who could corroborate that there was no exchange of gunfire and that Helis was handcuffed when he was repeatedly shot as claimed by his relatives,” Eleazar said.

The PNP chief said Helis and Dalit both suffered two gunshot wounds and tested positive for powder burns.

Eleven firearms were submitted for ballistics examination and cross-matching.

Eleazar said no one has surfaced to substantiate claims that Helis and Maglinte were killed in cold blood.

He said the relatives of the fatalities and witnesses refused to give their statements to probers from the Internal Affairs Service. Eleazar has assured witnesses of protection.

“Nananawagan po ang PNP sa mga kinauukulan na agad idulog sa mga otoridad kung tayo po ay may nalalaman na mahalagang impormasyong makatutulong sa imbestigasyon. Tinitiyak ko ang inyong proteksyon,” Eleazar said. – Ed Amoroso

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