The Department of the Interior of Local Government (DILG) today confirmed that P/MSgt. Jonel Nuezca, the policeman involved in the double murder of mother and son Sonya and Frank Anthony Gregorio over an altercation in Paniqui, Tarlac on Sunday, was demoted by the NAPOLCOM for a grave misconduct complaint filed in 2014.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) En Banc chaired by Secretary Eduardo M. Año issued the decision on October 21, 2020 imposing the penalty of one rank demotion to Nuezca for robbery-extortion. The implementation order has been issued by the NAPOLCOM Central Office.
He said that the complainant alleged that on March 8, 2014, at around 3:00 in the morning, the complainant’s son was on his way home on board a tricycle when respondents, Nuezca and some fellow police officers, forced her son inside a police vehicle. The tricycle driver was instructed to follow the said vehicle to the police station located at C-5, Taguig City.
At the police station, respondents threatened the complainant’s son and the tricycle driver that they would be charged for having in their possession a knife and illegal drugs. Upon learning that her son was in police custody, complainant immediately went to the precinct where she was able to talk to then PO2 Nuezca who demanded PhP40,000 for the release of her son and the tricycle driver. Desperate to help her son, she asked for more time and at around 10:00 in the morning, relatives of his son and the tricycle driver went to the police precinct with PhP10,000.
Malaya said that during the case hearing , this was denied by the respondents, including Nuezca, who claimed that they were patrolling the area when they apprehended the complainant’s son and the tricycle driver for being “out of line” and they were able to recover a deadly weapon and a sachet with white powdery substance. They claimed that they performed a valid warrantless arrest.
“After a careful evaluation of the evidence on record, the Commission En Banc ruled that the prosecution met the required quantum of proof required to establish the culpability of the respondents. It bears stressing that the allegations in the complaint were not specifically refuted by respondents,” said Malaya.
The NAPOLCOM found that Nuezca and respondents failed to submit corroborating evidence to support their claim that they performed a valid warrantless arrest. “In that regard, no evidence of a valid arrest was ever submitted by respondents. In fact, there was neither booking sheets nor records in the blotter book presented which can prove that there was indeed a valid warrantless arrest on the persons of complainant’s son and the tricycle driver,” read the Napolcom resolution.
Meanwhile, Nuezca is currently in the custody of the Chief of Police of Paniqui, Tarlac for the killing of the Gregorios and facing a case for two counts of murder lodged at the Regional Trial Court, Branch 67 of the same town. The PNP Internal Affairs Service also said that they will fast-track the dismissal of Nuezca from the police service.