Quezon cops face charges over attempted EJK of pedicab driver

police officer

Manila, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed a frustrated murder complaint against 4 local policemen of Quezon province for shooting a pedicab driver and abandoning him on the roadside.

Police Officer 2 Jhaymar Espedido, Senior Police Officer 4 Wilson Villegas, Senior Police Officer 3 Noel Malabayabas, and Senior Police Officer 2 Bryan Nobo of the Agdangan Police in Quezon face a complaint of frustrated murder filed at the Office of the Ombudsman Thursday, November 29.

The 4 cops also face complaints of grave misconduct and grave irregularity in the performance of duty, while their station chief, Inspector Wilson Mansion, was filed with a complaint for gross neglect of duty.

Roger Herrero, who was shot in the head and sustained a broken jaw, is recuperating at the hospital. An online fundraising initiative by a journalist gathered donations to help Herrero with hospital bills.

The complaint

According to the National Bureau of Investigation, “claims and facts” by the policemen “do not jibe” with current evidence.

The policemen claimed that they were responding to a distress call evening of November 1 by a certain Rommel Supilinas, who claimed Herrero robbed him at gunpoint.

The policemen said they hunted down the suspect – Herrero – but that the victim fired his gun first. Herrero, who the cops said fled towards the bushes, allegedly engaged the cops in a firefight. Herrero would be found later in a hospital in nearby Atimonan town.

Supilinas, however, did not show up for NBI questioning.

Residents of Barangay Binagbag, where the alleged gunfight happened, told the NBI that “no firefight occurred in their area, much less heard gunshots on the night of November 1.”

A barangay official was named as a witness for a certificate of inventory which states a .38 caliber revolver was found by the police, but the NBI said the certificate was not signed by the issuing person.

Victim’s version

The complaint to the NBI was filed by Herrero’s common-law wife and his sister.

According to them, Herrero said he was asked by a friend named Franklin Pareja to meet and go to the barrio of Laboy. When they got there, Herrero said Pareja ran off, leaving him to be picked up by men on board a car.

Herrero said he was immediately handcuffed, and that he recognized his abductors as policemen from their town. He heard one cop called by the name “Sir Espidido” later identified as Police Office 2 Jhaymar Espedido.

Herrero said he was interrogated by cops on alleged robberies.

“After hearing the abductors say that Pareja had admitted to them his involvement in crimes, he thought it best to admit his involvement with Pareja. He then realized that Pareja had betrayed him,” the NBI said in its complaint to the Ombudsman.

Herrero said when they reached a bridge in Atimonan, they all got off the car where the cops led him to a grassy portion of the road. Herrero said the cops told him to start praying.

“Sensing that something bad will be done unto him, he pleaded that his life be spared for the sake of his young children, but as it is, he was shot in the head close range. He dropped to the ground and was left for dead,” the NBI said.

Herrero regained consciousness and managed to walk until a group of young men took him to a nearby hospital. Thinking he would soon die, he wrote “Sir Spidido” on a piece of paper and the word “salvaging” (a term that had been used in the Philippines as execution) and penned goodbye to his wife and sister.

Giving merit to the testimonies of witnesses and Herrero, the NBI said “absent any evidence showing any reason or motive for complainant and witnesses to perjure, the logical conclusion is that no such improver motive exists.”

The complaint was filed on the same day that the Caloocan Regional Trial Court convicted local policemen of murder for shooting a 17-year-old boy they claimed was involved in drugs. The teen, Kian Delos Santos, did not survive. 

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