MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is still “honorable” by and large as two policemen are facing murder for killing a 15-year-old girl in Ilocos Sur last July 2, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said only a few “bad apples” are responsible for tainting the PNP’s reputation.

“Ang tingin ko naman po marangal ang PNP by and large. Sila po ay propesyunal. Siyempre po sa dami ng pulis sa kanilang hanay, siguro po may ilan diyan na bad apples (I think the PNP is honorable by and large. They are professional, of course with the number of police in their ranks maybe some of them are bad apples),” he said in a virtual presser.

Roque, meanwhile, assured that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will conduct an “impartial” investigation on the incident.

“Hayaan muna natin imbestigahan ang pagpatay na ito ng NBI. Kapag police po ang akusado, NBI po ang nagiimbestiga para patas po ang imbestigasyon so ‘wag po kayo mag-alala (Let us allow the NBI to investigate this killing. When the police are accused, the NBI will investigate to ensure that the investigation will be impartial so don’t worry),” he said.

He said he would personally communicate with officer-in-charge NBI Director Eric Distor for the details of the investigation.

However, he said that while the investigation is ongoing, information cannot be released until cases were filed.

Murder charges were filed against Police Staff Sgts. Randy Ramos and Marawi Torda, both assigned at the San Juan Municipal Police Station, for killing the victim who filed a complaint of acts of lasciviousness against one of the two cops.

PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa ordered Brig. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., regional director of Police Regional Office 1, to provide security to an 18-year-old cousin of the victim and her family, and ensure the availability of all PNP prosecution witnesses in court proceedings to expedite the murder trial simultaneous with summary administrative procedures.

He directed the IAS to finish the dismissal order in 15 days, saying the investigators found a “good” number of pieces of evidence that would substantially prove that the two PNP personnel were indeed involved in the crime.

Last June 29, nine police officers from Jolo, Sulu figured in a shooting incident that left four soldiers dead.

Slain in the incident were soldiers Maj. Marvin Indammog, 39; Capt. Irwin Managuelod, 33; Sgt. Jaime Velasco, 38; and Cpl. Abdal Asula, 33. They were tailing four terrorist suicide bombers when the shooting happened.

President Rodrigo Duterte directed the NBI to speed up the investigation on the shooting incident.

He appealed to both military and the police to wait for the result of the investigation being conducted by the NBI, which will be made public “so that everybody will understand the situation.” (PNA)