MANILA, Philippines — The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) wants the team leader of the police anti-drug operation that led to the killing of 23-year-old epileptic Djastin Lopez in 2017 be held liable.
In a statement Friday, NUPL said that aside from S/Sgt. Gerry Genalope who was ordered dismissed from the service by the Office of the Ombudsman, the team leader of the operation, Capt. Jojo Salanguit should also face criminal liability.
READ: Cop axed for killing epileptic in ‘drug raid’
“The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers-National Capital Region, counsel for the Lopez family, still maintains that Salanguit, the leader of the operation, and all others involved should be liable for these murders – and possible cover-up and ensuring of impunity,” NUPL said.
Djastin was shot by Genalope during an anti-drug operation in Manila. However, the suspect’s family including his mother Normit, claims that Djastin was shot even as his hands were already raised in surrender.
“Those present on scene and had control and direction over the operation must be impleaded also as principals, and/or part of a conspiracy,” the NUPL added.
On Thursday, Ombudsman Samuel Martires signed a resolution ordering the dismissal of Genalope and the filing of a murder complaint against him.
Malacañang has welcomed the Ombudsman order, but the NUPL thinks the dismissed police officer was just a fall guy
READ: Palace welcomes Ombudsman order to dismiss, file murder raps vs ‘Tokhang’ cop
“Malacañang’s feigned support of the filing of charges against PO3 (Staff Sergeant) Gerry Geñalope, possibly a fall guy, will be taken into consideration in all the investigations: of the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Bureau, as well that of the International Criminal Court (ICC),” the group said.
The NUPL also called on relatives of those who were killed in the government’s drug war to file cases in court and to allow accused law enforcers to defend themselves.
“All nanlaban killings, particularly in operations where police clearly admit they shot the “suspect”, should be filed in court. Self-defense is a legal argument and police must convince the court, not just the public, that they were justified in their actions. Planting of evidence and whitewashing implicates everybody involved, including investigators and scene of the crime operatives,” NUPL said.
Meanwhile, the NUPL said they will pursue Lopez’ case, even if it is faced with threats.
“Despite threats and dissuasion against cooperating with the ICC (International Criminal Court), Lopez, Rise Up, and the NUPL will continue to provide the international court with relevant information about the Philippine “war on drugs”, in assertion of our democratic rights and for a chance of survival in the era of Rodrigo Duterte,” NUPL added. /muf
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