By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

MURDER RAPS FILED. PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo in a press briefing in Camp Crame on Monday (May 6, 2024) says murder charges have been filed against the suspects, including two police officers, in the fatal shooting of Capt. Rolando Moralde in a public market in Parang town, Maguindanao del Norte last May 2. The two police officers have already surrendered while three other suspects remain at large. (PNA photo by Lloyd Caliwan)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said it has filed murder charges against five suspects, including two police officers, in the May 2 fatal shooting of Capt. Rolando Moralde in Parang, Maguindanao del Norte.

In a press briefing in Camp Crame, Quezon City, PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said the two police master sergeants surrendered to authorities on May 3 and are now detained at the Parang Municipal Police Station, while three other suspects remain at large.

“They did not issue any statements but said they would face the charges against them. We do not care if they are police officers. We have enough evidence and we could even look into the aggravating circumstances of them being police officers. As we have seen in the video footage of the slain police, he already fell to the ground. Instead of helping him, they fired at him,” Fajardo said in Filipino.

She added Moralde’s remains were brought to Camp Crame on Sunday where his wake would be held until May 8.

Moralde and his officers were on market chores inside the town’s public market when he noticed a man with a pistol on his waist, later identified as Mohiden Untal.

Moralde confronted Untal but the suspect resisted and opened fire on him. He also fired back and hit Untal.

Five suspects, including the two charged police officers, shot Moralde dead. They turned out to be Untal’s relatives.

Fajardo said the two cops would also face administrative charges and have also surrendered their service firearms, which would undergo ballistic examination to know if these were actually used in the incident.

She said four police officers who were with Moralde have also been relieved pending investigation by the Internal Affairs Service after they failed to immediately respond to the shootout.

“I spoke with the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region director and they are having a meeting today to determine what really happened because these four did not even respond or assisted the victim when they heard gunshots in the area. They suddenly disappeared,” she added. (PNA)