The Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of a police officer over the killing of an epileptic in a false drug raid in Manila’s slum district of Tondo nearly two years ago.
Ombudsman Samuel Martires has also ordered the filing of murder charges against Police Staff Sergeant Gerry Geñalope of the Manila Police District Station 7 for the gunslaying of 23-year-old Djastin Lopez on May 18, 2017.
Witnesses said policemen from Station 7 dragged Lopez to the railroad at Hermosa and Pilar in Tondo and pushed him down on the tracks.
He begged for his life
They said Lopez had a seizure and begged for his life, but Geñalope shot him several times.
The officers claimed Lopez was a murder suspect and drug peddler.
They claimed they seized firearms, ammunition and “shabu” (crystal meth) from Lopez.
Geñalope admitted shooting Lopez but claimed Lopez fired first, prompting him to fire back.
Lopez’s mother, Normita Lopez, brought a complaint against the policemen, denying her son was a drug peddler and charging the officers planted evidence to make a case of resisting arrest.
The mother failed to substantiate the charge, but Martires ordered a fact-finding investigation into the allegation, noting that the policemen failed to present any document to show that they were really in Lopez’s community for a follow-up operation as part of the government’s war on drugs.
Malacañang lauded the Ombudsman’s decision to prosecute Geñalope.
“We welcome it, as President Duterte says his administration will not tolerate abuse on the part of police officers,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
The prosecution of Geñalope is the second such case in Duterte’s war on drugs.
Last year, three police officers were convicted of murder charges for the killing of a teenager in Caloocan City on Aug. 16, 2017. —PATRICIA DENISE M. CHIU AND JULIE M. AURELIO
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