PNP assures 17 CIDG men available to face investigation
The Philippine National Police will extend all possible legal assistance to 17 operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) facing indictment for alleged murder filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) over the death of a couple during a police operation in Batangas last year.
“This is among the occupational risks faced by police personnel arising from service-related circumstances and regular performance of duty. Our personnel deserves to avail of all legal remedies provided by law,” PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said Saturday.
At the same time, Carlos maintained the legitimacy of the police operation in Nasugbu, Batangas in March 2021, acting on orders of the court to serve a search warrant for illegal firearms on the address of couple Ariel and Ana Mariz Lemita-Evangelista, that led to an armed confrontation.
“At any rate, the PNP respects the legal action of NBI in bringing the case up for prosecution before the DOJ,” Carlos said adding, “this will allow the respondents the opportunity to face their accusers and present their side in the best interest of due process.”
Carlos said he sees no need for the PNP to conduct its own investigation of the alleged murders parallel to that of NBI’s, but will look into the administrative liability of personnel concerned as a matter of policy.
“The PNP has its own internal investigation machinery, the Internal Affairs Service. The case stemmed from an operation; it is well within the jurisdiction of IAS,” he said.
We are confident that this indictment is not enough to dampen the resolve of the CIDG or any other PNP unit in pursuing the objectives of the PNP against terrorism and criminality, Carlos said.
Nonetheless, I have instructed the Director CIDG to ensure that all concerned personnel is accounted for and available to face further investigation,” Carlos said. PNP-PIO