Manila, Philippines – The Manila Police District (MPD) on Thursday, March 15, charged one of its cops for murder in connection with the killing of a 13-year-old boy in Tondo last week.
Police Officer 2 Omar Malinao, 35, had confessed to shooting – accidentally, he claims – Aldrinne Pineda of Vitas, Tondo.
The teenager was hanging out with his friends on the fence of a slaughterhouse on Katarungan Street in their barangay on March 2, when he was shot by a masked man, whom witnesses said seemed to be “securing the area.”
On March 5, Malinao surrendered to the MPD, claiming responsibility for the death of Pineda. Malinao was assigned at the Raxabago Police Station in Tondo – the same police station where a secret jail for drug suspects was found in 2017.
Malinao claimed the shooting was a mere accident, as he fell on the ground and accidentally pulled the gun’s trigger.
His story was disputed by a 13-year-old friend of Pineda, who was with him when he was shot. In the boy’s sworn statement, he said the policeman was being “teased” by kids in the area when he fired his gun that hit Pineda. Pineda was brought to Tondo General Hospital, where he died.
The murder case against the cop was filed a day after the teenager’s burial at the Manila North Cemetery.
MPD Spokesperson Erwin Margarejo did not confirm whether a new witness had surfaced to support the case, considering Malinao was initially not considered a suspect but a “person of interest.”
A separate complaint against Malinao was filed on March 8 with the Office of the Ombudsman by the Commission on Human Rights, on behalf of Pineda’s mother, Michelle.