The policeman who was caught on video shooting his unarmed neighbors dead pleaded "not guilty" to murder charges, the Central Luzon police chief said Monday.
Senior Master Sgt. Jonel Nuezca pleaded "not guilty" after consulting with his lawyers, Police Brig. Gen. Val de Leon said.
"He (Nuezca) consulted with his lawyers and was informed of the consequences of his decision, na pag guilty, tapos na, antayin na lang yung punishment," De Leon told reportr in a phone interview.
"We assure the public that even if he pleaded 'not guilty,' we have a very airtight case against him," De Leon said, noting that the police force would stick to the murder charges against Nuezca.
Murder is punishable with life imprisonment. In some cases, murder suspects plead not guilty and seek the lowering of the charge to homicide, which carries a shorter prison sentence.
A Parañaque cop, Nuezca was charged with murder for shooting Sonya Rufino Gregorio, 52, and Frank Anthony Rufino Gregorio, 25 at close range in Paniqui, Tarlac. The crime occurred in front of the policeman's young daughter.
The incident, caught on video, drew widespread condemnation and stirred conversations on police brutality and impunity.
President Rodrigo Duterte had asked the Philippine National Police to ensure that Nuezca remains behind bars, calling the latter "may topak" (sick in the brain).