Philippine police allegedly involved in suspect "murder"

Featured South East Asia - July 15th, 2013

A group of police officers is under scrutiny in the Philippines for their alleged involvement in the murder of a criminal that was caught on film.

Video footage appeared to show a policeman using a rifle to shoot a suspect who had his hands behind his head while sitting behind the wheel of a parked vehicle surrounded by at least five uniformed police officers and another man in civilian clothing.

The incident was reported as a shootout on the streets of the southern city of Davao, where police said they killed three gangsters, including the suspect who was allegedly executed, in an operation to rescue a kidnapped businesswoman.

Commission on Human Rights chairwoman Loretta Ann Rosales said the footage showed “clear murder” after reviewing the tape which was ran by local broadcaster ABS-CBN.

ABS-CBN also said the grainy footage showed the man in civilian clothing placing an unidentified object on the pavement beside the dead suspect’s vehicle, in what could amount to tampering with the crime scene.

Although ABS-CBN did not identify the source of the footage.

Rosales had ordered an inquiry into the shooting to determine the officers’ possible criminal culpability, said Mark Cebreros, the commission’s spokesman.

Davao police chief Senior Superintendent Ronald de la Rosa said he had not seen the footage while Mayor Rodrigo Duterte defended the police operation.

“Don’t crucify the police for doing their duty,” Duterte told ABS-CBN.