MANILA -- Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde on Wednesday ordered a probe on the killing of two self-confessed gun-for-hire suspects while onboard a police mobile on their way back to jail.
"That will be investigated and I have already asked the IAS (Internal Affairs Service) to investigate it. I also asked the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to explain what happened. Remember, these are members of gun-for-hire groups. They are high-risk detainees and are supposed to have security escort when they undergo inquest proceedings,” Albayalde told reporters when sought for a comment on the incident.
On Tuesday, Police Officer (PO) 1 Joven Miguel and PO2 Mark De Lima, both assigned at the MPD station 4, were onboard a police mobile patrol car with the suspects Apolonio Flores and Patrick Cortez who underwent inquest proceedings at a Manila court.
While on their way back from the court, six motorcycle-riding suspects blocked their vehicle.
The suspects disarmed de Lima and Miguel at gunpoint and ordered them to alight from the vehicle and lie face down.
The gunmen then shot dead Flores and Cortez through the vehicle’s window and fled from the scene.
Flores was arrested on Monday for illegal possession of firearms and violation of the election gun ban.
Police found in his cellphone kill orders from an alleged middleman, prompting the cops to conduct a follow-up investigation.
The middleman, who was later identified as Cortez, was arrested during an operation conducted in Tondo, Manila.
For his part, NCRPO chief, Director Guillermo Eleazar, said the killing of Flores and Cortez could have been ordered by drug syndicates as they admitted that they work for them particularly by killing drug pushers who fail to remit money from drug transactions.
"Probably they were silenced so they cannot reveal anything about the groups they are transacting with," Eleazar said in Filipino.
Eleazar, however, said he is not ruling out a possible involvement of erring policemen in the incident.
Miguel and De Lima will also undergo investigation to determine their lapses in complying with operational procedures. (PNA)
Photo by Boy Santos/The STAR