DOJ welcomes conviction of 4 cops in 2016 drug bust killings

By Marita Moaje

June 19, 2024, 2:48 pm Updated on June 19, 2024, 4:51 pm

<p>Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin "Boying" Remulla<em> (PNA file photo)</em></p>

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin "Boying" Remulla (PNA file photo)

MANILA – Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin "Boying" Remulla on Wednesday welcomed the conviction of four police officers who killed a father and son during an anti-illegal drug operation in 2016.

Remulla regarded the conviction as proof that the country’s justice system exists and working.

"This conviction is a milestone in our criminal justice system, a testament to the government’s unwavering efforts to safeguarding human rights in the pursuit of justice and a clear proof of a functioning justice system,” he said in a press statement.

On Tuesday,  the Caloocan Regional Trial Court Branch 121 found Police Master Sergeant Virgilio Servantes, and Police Corporals Arnel De Guzman, Johnston Alacre, and Argemio Saguros Jr. guilty of killing Luis Bonifacio and his son Gabriel Lois in September 2016.

The police personnel were sentenced to six to 10 years imprisonment.

Each was ordered to pay PHP100,000 for actual, moral, and temperate damages, and civil indemnity with an interest of six percent per annum from the date of finality of the decision until fully paid.

Remulla commended the DOJ prosecutors for successfully securing the conviction.

“This serves as a reminder to abusive police officers that no one is above the law, justice will eventually catch up with them,” he said. 

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said it welcomes the court’s decision on the four police officers.

In a press briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City, PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said while police officers are given the “presumption of regularity” in the performance of their duties, those found to have committed abuses and clear violations of existing police operational procedure, like the convicted cops, should face the penalties imposed by the courts.

She said the four cops have faced administrative charges and were penalized with one-year suspensions over the case.

She said it will be up to the four cops to “exhaust all available legal remedies” they are entitled to under the law. (with a report from Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)