Footage shows Police Senior Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca shooting Sonya Gregorio and her son Frank at point-blank range outside their house in Paniqui after a heated confrontation.
A video showing a mother and son being gunned down by police in the Philippines has sparked outrage across the Southeast Asian country.
Local media reported Sonya Gregorio and her son Frank were shot by Police Senior Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca on Sunday outside their house in Paniqui after a heated confrontation.
President Rodrigo Duterte said he had his mouth "left wide open" when he saw the video on Monday.
Duterte made the comments in his weekly televised message to the Southeast Asian nation on Monday evening, calling the killing "brutal" and "senseless".
Duterte called on police to act according to the law and asked national police to detain the officer without bail.
The suspect was later charged with homicide.
PNP Region 3 Chief BGen. Val de Leon says the homicide cases filed against Nuezca in May 2019 and December 2019 have both been dismissed for lack of substantial evidence https://t.co/nzMVDiodH5 pic.twitter.com/sGyPlTELAr— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) December 21, 2020
'I will finish you now'
The heated exchange between the Gregorios and officer Nuezca, who was in civilian clothes, seemed to be about a boga, "a homemade noisemaker constructed from PVC piping that is traditionally played at Christmas time," the New York Times reported.
According to the report, tensions escalated between the suspect's daughter and Sonya before the former officer is heard saying “I will finish you now."
Nuezca is then seen shooting the mother and son in the head at close-range with his handgun.
Twitter users took to the platform to express their condolences for the victim's families and their frustrations against police violence and extrajudicial killings.
Using the hashtags #JusticeForGregorioFamily, #StopTheKillingPH and #PulisAngTerorista they demanded justice.
take a moment to pause from your regular twitter activities to educate yourself on what’s happening in the world and what needs to be stopped #StopTheKillingPH #JusticeforSonyaGregorio #JUSTICEFORFRANKGREGORIO pic.twitter.com/hWGq6h6WjW— kiryn (@downntheforest) December 21, 2020
Duterte's ties with police
Last month, Duterte cleared his newly appointed police chief of any violation of Covid-19 rules when he celebrated his birthday in May during one of the world's strictest lockdowns.
In a national address, Duterte defended police chief Debold Sinas, promoted on November 9 to national police commander from Manila police boss, and noted his appointee's achievements despite a social media stir over perceived special treatment.
Sinas had led anti-drug operations in which thousands of people were killed.
"If he has (committed) any offence, he is pardoned already. I do not see any wrongdoing with moral implications and malice," Duterte said, adding that Sinas was not at fault for receiving a surprise festivity.
Sinas has been under investigation by the justice ministry for celebrating his birthday with fellow officers in May despite coronavirus curbs and at a time police were arresting thousands of people for quarantine violations.
He has apologised for "causing anxiety to the public."