Cop caught on video ‘planting’ gun on suspect in Bukidnon drug bust

Coconuts Manila
·2 min read

The chief of police of Valencia City, Bukidnon should explain why one of his men was caught on video planting evidence on a drug suspect, the Philippine National Police said yesterday.

The cop, Patrolman Benzoin Gonzales, was seen in a video that was reportedly taken on Feb. 20 in the village of Batangan. In the video, Gonzales shoots a gun three times, then leaves his firearm beside the body of the dead drug suspect, Pol Lopez Estanol, a former village watchman.

Read: ‘Devoid of truth,’ Philippine police say of drug war rapes, torture, abuses reported by ICC

Gonzales had died in a traffic accident days after the bust, and the police force said that in his absence, his superior is responsible for explaining his actions.

“The chief of police will just have to explain on what grounds did the policeman operate that caused the death of the alleged drug suspect,” Brigadier General Ildebrandi Usana, the police force’s spokesman, told GMA News Online.

Read: International Criminal Court to continue preliminary examination of Duterte drug war despite PH exit

Capt. Francisco Sabud Jr., the police’s spokesman for Northern Mindanao, told ABS-CBN News that the incident captured on video was “isolated.” The video is currently being checked by the police force to determine if it was authentic.

“We have colleagues who do not follow orders, but not all of them,” Sabud said in English and Filipino.

Estanol was killed by the cops because he allegedly fought back (“nanlaban“), an excuse that the police often say when a suspect is killed during a drug bust.

However, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had alleged that Filipino cops habitually plant guns on drug suspects’ bodies, as well as methamphetamine. The organization investigated several “nanlaban” cases and found that “the police repeatedly recovered guns bearing the same serial numbers from different victims in different locations.”

Read: Extra-judicial killing? There’s no such thing, insists PH police chief Cascolan

Meanwhile, a report released by the International Criminal Court in December 2019 said that in many drug raids, suspects were tortured, were forced to watch their loved ones die, and police officers were raping women as part of the drug campaign. The court is currently conducting a “preliminary examination” into Duterte’s drug war.

This article, Cop caught on video ‘planting’ gun on suspect in Bukidnon drug bust, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.