Fortun files case over handling of QC gun-toting incident

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(File photo of Atty. Raymond Fortun)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 1) — A lawyer has filed a case against three Quezon City police personnel over their handling of the viral incident involving a former policeman who pulled out a gun during a road altercation with a cyclist.

According to the Quezon City public information office on Sunday, Raymond Fortun filed charges of oppression, irregularities in the performance of duties and incompetence, under Rule 21 of a 2016 Napolcom memorandum circular, against three members of the Kamuning traffic sector with the city’s People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB)

“Despite the clear and imbalanced status of the parties, the same police officers failed to protect the rights of the cyclist when they failed to provide a legal counsel for him so that the latter would be duly appraised of his rights,” Fortun said.

“Further, they failed to secure the CCTV footages in the area in order to ferret out the real facts in the conflicting statements made by the parties. Finally, and for reasons known only to them, and despite there being sufficient basis to do so, the same police officers failed to file the appropriate charges,” he added.

The viral video showed a motorist, identified as Wilfredo Gonzales, drawing and pointing a loaded firearm at an unarmed cyclist near Welcome Rotonda in Quezon City on Aug. 8.

In the same statement, Mayor Joy Belmonte hailed Fortun's action.

“What we need now are little acts of heroism from ordinary Filipinos to stand up for what is right to exact accountability from those in power. This move of Atty. Fortun in filing a case with our PLEB is a vote of confidence that here in Quezon City, we will get things done. The proper process in the proper forum, which is the PLEB, will now take its course.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Francis Tolentino said Gonzales has failed to return his retirement pay even after being ordered by the Philippine National Police to do so, adding that it was a deliberate act by the former policeman.

PNP spokesperson PCol Jean Fajardo said they will be confirming the information.

"As to question kung kailangan niya ito isoli - I would have to check po kasi sabi ko nga entitled siya. during the time na binigyan siya ng retirement ay hindi pa lumalabas dismissal. I would check with PNP retirement administration service kung may move na ipa-soli yung na-receive na retirement benefits," she said.

[Translation: as to the question whether he is required to return it -- I would have to check because as I said he is entitled because at the time it was given, the dismissal (order) was not yet released. I would check with the PNP retirement administration if there is a move to make him return the retirement benefits he received.]

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In a briefing, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said even the local government can file a case against Gonzales, since alarm and scandal is a public crime. The PNP has filed such a complaint and has urged the victim to do so as well.

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Last week, QCPD chief PBGen Nicolas Torre III resigned from his post for holding a press conference with Gonzales following the incident.