MANILA, Philippines – The police officer assigned in Valenzuela City who was involved in the death of a teenager with special needs has been dismissed from the service, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Tuesday.
PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said he has ordered the removal of Police Senior Master Sergeant Christopher Salcedo from the service following a review of the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) recommendation.
The review was conducted by the Discipline, Law and Order Division- Directorate for Personnel and Records Management (DLOD-DPRM) and the Office of the Chief PNP.
“I have signed the order for the dismissal from the service of PSMS Salcedo for grave misconduct and less grave irregularity in the performance of duty,” Eleazar said in a statement.
The PNP said Salcedo was administratively charged for the death of 18-year-old Erwin Arnigo during an anti-illegal gambling operation conducted by Valenzuela City Police personnel last May 23.
The National Bureau of Investigation is still conducting a probe for the filing of a criminal complaint against Salcedo, it added.
In dismissing Salcedo, Eleazar said he has taken into consideration several factors that aggravated his offense, including violation of the police operational procedure as well as the fact that the teenager was a person with special needs.
“Arnigo should not have been arrested by Valenzuela City police personnel, particularly Salcedo, the teenager having no involvement with the tupada (illegal cockfighting) ,” he said.
“Being a person with autism spectrum disorder, he could not have knowingly taken part in the illegal gambling activity,” he added.
The IAS previously recommended a 40-day suspension against Salcedo citing the accidental nature of the fatal shooting and his awards and citations as mitigating factors.
Meanwhile, Eleazar affirmed the dropping of the administrative cases of grave neglect of duty and less grave neglect of duty against four other Valenzuela City police personnel who took part in the anti-illegal gambling operation.
He said that there was no substantive evidence to support their supposed administrative offenses of grave neglect of duty and less grave neglect of duty.