Cops face raps for shooting fire volunteers

Posted at 05/03/12 11:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Four Makati police officers are facing murder charges in relation to the killings of two fire volunteers last April 1.

The policemen were identified as PO2 Carmelo Tuzon, PO2 Elmandy Arconado, PO3 Christopher Abeleda and SPO1 Raul Tamarion.

Two civilians, who are still unidentified, are also charged with incriminatory machination.

The victims, Ronald Infante and Jenny Almanon, were members of the Manila Setba Fire Volunteer Brigade.

They were killed last April 1 while on board a motorcycle along Heneral Lacuna St. in Makati.

Police earlier said the victims were suspects of a robbery incident in the city.

CCTV footage

A closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage of the incident shows that the two suspects were still moving after they fell from their motorcycle at around 9:20 p.m.

The footage then shows police officers approaching the victims.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) suspects the victims were then shot at close range.

The footage also reveals that two unidentified civilians approached the body of Almanon after he was shot.

NBI said one of the unidentified men, who was allegedly wearing gloves, may have planted a firearm on Almanon’s body.

Three other Makati police officers were earlier investigated after CCTV footage from Makati View Apartelle, where the camera was installed, became inaccessible.

A CCTV expert said the recording was corrupted after the cops tried to copy it.

Mistaken identity?

The victims’ family believes that the CCTV footage revealed that the killings were a case of mistaken identity.

“Kasi nakita ko na marami ng palpak, lalo na sa anak ko. Kitang-kita ko na ‘yung rules of engagement ay hindi na-implement,” said Infante’s father Romualdo.

The cops said they are ready to face the charges in court.

“Wala tayo pare-pareho sa crime scene. Sila magpapatunay niyan sa korte,” said Supt. Jaime Santos, OIC chief of Makati PNP. -- Report from Alex Santos, ABS-CBN News