Prevent killings and ensure accountability, UN official urges after Tarlac shooting

By CNN Philippines Staff

A United Nations official has called for the prioritization of accountability amid the killings in the Philippines, including the recent fatal twin shooting in Tarlac involving a police officer.

“The killing of Sonya and Frank Gregorio impacts on all of us,” Gustavo Gonzalez, UN resident coordinator in the Philippines, said in a statement released on Friday. “Preventing such killings and ensuring accountability must be our foremost priority.”

Gonzalez also said that cooperation between the Philippines and UN with regard to strengthening accountability mechanisms and data gathering “can help contribute to a policing culture that seeks to protect its citizens, particularly the most vulnerable, while also recognizing the important and challenging work police officers face in carrying out their duties.”

The Gregorios were shot dead last Sunday by their neighbor, police officer Jonel Nuezca, in Paniqui town following a heated argument. Nuezca is facing two counts of murder as a result of the viral incident, which has also sparked debates on and calls for police reforms.

Meanwhile, Gonzalez also expressed concern over the “high number” of killings in the country, which he labeled as a “ broader, institutional concern.”

“This impacts negatively on security and development,” he noted.

Earlier, the Philippine National Police maintained that Nuezca’s case is an “isolated” incident, and stressed there is no such thing as a “culture of violence” among its ranks. The agency has also vowed swift dismissal for its erring members, including those who would test positive for illegal drugs.

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