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'No decent place in a civilized society': Ex-cop Jonel Nuezca convicted of murder over viral Tarlac shooting

Published Aug 26, 2021 4:26 pm

The former police officer who last year gunned down a mother and son in Tarlac, an incident that was caught in a viral video and sparked widespread outrage, has been found guilty and sentenced to reclusion perpetua

Jonel Nuezca was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt for two counts of murder for killing Sonia Gregorio, 52, and her son, Frank Anthony, 25. The Paniqui, Tarlac Regional Trial Court Branch 106 also ordered Nuezca to pay to the heirs of the victims P952,560 in damages.

Presiding Judge Stela Marie Gandia-Asuncion stated in her 18-page decision the video of the shooting and said that the treacherous nature of the attack was an aggravating circumstance.

“The attack made by the accused is so swift and sudden that the victims were not able to defend themselves. The shots fired were made in quick succession. Hence, the attack made is treacherous,” the decision stated.

Asuncion also noted Nuezca's background in law enforcement.

“A shoot first, think later disposition occupies no decent place in a civilized society. Never has homicide or murder been a function of law enforcement,” Asuncion said in her ruling.

Nuezca, who was dismissed from the service last January, never apologized for his actions during the trial, according to Atty. Freddie Villamor, the lawyer of the victims' family, in an interview over dzBB.

“Ang defense lang ni Nuezca, parang nagdilim ang paningin niya kaya hindi niya na alam nung mabaril niya 'yung mag-ina,” he said.

Villamor said Gregorio’s family is satisfied with the outcome of the case.

“Nag-iiyakan po 'yung pamilya nung malaman nila 'yung hatol ng husgado at tuwang tuwa po sila at finally nakamit na nila ang hustisyang hinahanap nila,” he said. (Manny Tupas / The Philippine STAR)