Maine Mendoza, Angel Locsin, Bianca Gonzalez, other stars condemn Tarlac police shooting
Filipino celebrities condemned the deaths of a mother and son in Paniqui, Tarlac, after a police officer shot them in broad daylight following a confrontation.
The victims, Sonya Gregorio, 52, and Frank Anthony Gregorio, 25, were shot point-blank by police senior master sergeant Jonel Nuezca Sunday afternoon, Dec. 20.
The confrontation, as per Paniqui Municipal Police Station chief Lt. Col. Noriel Rombaoa, was caused by the firing of a “boga” — a noisemaker used for revelries — near the victims’ house.
The suspect and victims are neighbors, although it is uncertain whether it was one of the victims who shot the “boga.” The victims were also reported to have been involved in a right of way land dispute with Nuezca, as their house is located behind the officer’s residence.
The grisly murder, videos of which now pervade social media, saw the hashtags #StopTheKillingsPH and #JusticeforSonyaGregorio trend on Twitter.
Actress Maine Mendoza did not mince words when she denounced the incident on Twitter, Dec. 21.
“BAKIT KAILANGANG UMABOT DOON?” she said, as she called for justice for the mother and son. (Why did it have to get to that point?)
BAKIT KAILANGANG UMABOT DOON? Hindi ko kaya, grabe, Hindi ko alam kung ano ang mararamdaman ko pero pwede bang barilin ka nalang din sa harap ng anak mo? Sorry Lord pero sobra kasi yun eh. Sobra yung ginawa niya. Hustisya para sa mag-inang Gregorio. #STOPTHEKILLINGS
— Maine Mendoza (@mainedcm) December 20, 2020
TV host Bianca Gonzalez likewise to Twitter, bemoaning that it was as if pulling out and firing a gun was just normal.
“Na parang wala lang ang bahay ng dalawang taong walang laban at hindi nanlaban,” tweeted Gonzalez. “Na kung walang video na nakuha ay hindi pa malalaman ang kawalanghiyaang krimen na nangyari. #EndPoliceBrutality.”
(That the lives of two people who could not and did not fight back seemed not to matter. That nobody would know of the crime had there been no video).
Na parang normal lang ang pagbunot at pagputok ng baril. Na parang wala lang ang buhay ng dalawang taong walang laban at hindi nanlaban. Na kung walang video na nakuha ay hindi pa malalaman ang kawalanghiyaang krimen na nangyari.#EndPoliceBrutality
— Bianca Gonzalez (@iamsuperbianca) December 21, 2020
Actor and writer Juan Miguel Severo said the police are worse than the aswang.
“Hindi nila kailangan ng dilim para magpakahalimaw. #PULISANGTERORISTA #StopTheKillingsPH.” (They don’t need the dark to do monstrous things).
— Juan Miguel Severo (@TheRainBro) December 20, 2020
Actor and singer Mikoy Morales shot down the argument that “not all cops are bad,” tweeting, “Hindi nga, pero kung alam mo na may mga ganitong [nangyayari] at wala kang ginagawa laban dito — kasabwat ka.”
(They’re not [all bad], but if you are aware that things like this are happening and you’re not doing anything about it, that makes you an accomplice).
“Hindi naman lahat ng pulis masama.”
Hindi nga, pero kung alam mo na may mga ganitong nangayayari at wala kang ginagawa laban dito – kasabwat ka. #StopTheKillingsPH
— Mikoy Morales (@MikoyMorales) December 21, 2020
Actresses Agot Isidro and Angel Locsin echoed Morales’ sentiments, with the former saying there are good cops who may not be happy with how things are done.
“But they choose to bow their heads and look away,” she tweeted. “The way the agency is set up, leadership is everything. The culture of impunity trickles from top all the way down.”
I know that there are good cops around. Some are not even happy how things are run. But they choose to bow their heads and look away.
The way the agency is set up, Leadership is everything. The culture of impunity trickles from top all the way down.
— Agot Isidro (@agot_isidro) December 21, 2020
Locsin said in a tweet that “good cops should condemn bad cops” and called Nuezca a “murderer.”
— Angel Locsin (@143redangel) December 21, 2020
Actress Gabbi Garcia also called for the killings to stop.
“ENOUGH. Came across the video and my heart is crying for the mother and son who died,” she said. “ENOUGH! TAMA NA.”
#StopTheKillings ENOUGH. Came across the video and my heart is crying for the mother and son who died. ENOUGH! TAMA NA.
— Gabbi Garcia ♡ (@gabbi) December 20, 2020
Producer Perci Intalan, on the other hand, said that there are three victims in the video: the Gregorios and the police’s young daughter. It was reported that the daughter also had a confrontation with Sonya prior to the shooting.
“Biktima siya ng kinalakhan sistema ng karahasan, kawalan ng hustisya at pagsasawalang bahala sa buhay ng tao,” said Intalan on Twitter. “Biktima siya ng pananahimik ng mga pwedeng magpamulat sa kanya sa tama at mali.”
(She is a victim of a system of violence, injustice and indifference to human life. She is a victim of the silence of those who could have opened her eyes to what is right and wrong.)
Tatlo ang biktima sa video: ang mag-ina at yung anak ng pulis. Biktima siya ng kinalakhan sistema ng karahasan, kawalan ng hustisya at pagsasawalang bahala sa buhay ng tao. Biktima siya ng pananahimik ng mga pwedeng magpamulat sana sa kanya sa tama at mali.#StopTheKillingsPH
— Perci Intalan (@percinotpercy) December 21, 2020
Actor Khalil Ramos, meanwhile, pointed out that thousands of Filipinos have been killed the same way.
“This is what happens to a country headed by someone who glorifies violence. Someone who literally orders the policemen to ‘shoot to kill,’” he said, pertaining to President Rodrigo Duterte. “Ganito na ang Pilipinas (This is the state of the Philippines). #StopTheKillingsPH REGISTER TO VOTE.”
Thousands of others killed in the same chilling and brutal way. This is what happens to a country headed by someone who glorifies violence. Someone who literally orders the policemen to “shoot to kill”. Ganito na ang Pilipinas. #StopTheKillingsPH REGISTER TO VOTE.
— Khalil Ramos (@TheKhalilRamos) December 21, 2020
Nuezca has been previously investigated before for administrative cases, notably for cases of grave misconduct for homicide in May and December 2019, as per the Police Regional Office in central Luzon. These cases, however, were dismissed due to lack of substantial evidence. NVG
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