17 CIDG men facing murder raps ‘deserve’ all legal remedies: PNP

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MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said all 17 operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) “deserve” to avail all legal remedies amid the murder charges they are facing in connection with the death of a couple during a police operation in Batangas last year.

This, as Carlos assured that the 17 operatives of the PNP-CIDG Region 4-A are all accounted for and ready to attend indictment for a murder case filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NIB) over the death of couple Ariel and Ana Mariz Lemita-Evangelista.

“This is among the occupational risks faced by police personnel arising from service-related circumstances and regular performance of duty. Our personnel deserve to avail of all legal remedies provided by law,” Carlos said in a statement on 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 couple’s address 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. “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.

He expressed confidence that the indictment of 17 CIDG operatives is not enough to dampen the resolve of the CIDG and other PNP units in pursuing “the objectives of the PNP against terrorism and criminality.” (PNA)

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