Following the arrest of Police Master Sgt. Hensie Zinampan, who shot dead 52-year-old Lilybeth Valdez last May 31, Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar has ordered the immediate filing of criminal cases and summary dismissal proceedings against him.
“A case of murder will be filed against him, [while an] admin[istrative] case will be initiated so he can be dismissed from service as the soonest possible time,” he said, and promised to personally oversee the charges filed against the errant cop.
A now-viral video of Zinampan showed him accosting Valdez who was on her way to a convenience store, pulling her by the hair and shooting her in the neck. He reportedly had a physical altercation with the victim’s son and then threatened to harm his family.
The incident comes mere months after the shooting of a mother and son in Paniqui, Tarlac by former Police Senior Master Sgt. Jonel Nuezca. Also captured on video, Nuezca shot Sonya Gregorio and son Frank after an argument regarding the firing of a homemade cannon last December.
He initially entered a plea of “not guilty” before the town’s Regional Trial Court, where he faces charges for double murder.
Said Commission on Human Rights spokesperson, Jacqueline de Guia: “This [Zinampan] incident is gravely concerning as we expect our police to ‘serve and protect’, and not be at the front lines of violating rights, let alone arbitrarily curtailing one’s right to life. At the same time, after a string of recent deaths and killings being attributed to police officers, we urge the PNP to translate commitments of internal cleansing into actual reduction of cases of human rights violations on the ground. One death is one too many.”
Upon assuming his post just last month, the newly-installed chief Eleazar–who is set to lead the PNP for six months–made it his goal to cleanse the police force’s ranks of rogue officers.
He swore he would strengthen his push for reforms in the PNP’s recruitment process and blamed corruption and the ‘padrino’ system for allowing undeserving applicants to enter service.
Screen grab from video courtesy of PNP-PIO