Philippine cop who exposed 'missing' police allowance shot dead

MANILA (THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A police official who had claimed that 2,400 pesos (S$63.70) in meal allowance was not given to policemen assigned to the 2015 Papal visit was shot dead in Muntinlupa City Saturday (Aug 26) night.

Chief Inspector Ernesto Eco succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds in the body fired by motorcycle-riding assailants at about 8pm in front of a fast-food restaurant along the National Road in Barangay Poblacion.

Chief Superintendent Tomas Apolinario, the Southern Police District (SPD) director, said the 39-year-old Eco was supposed to be in Mindanao, where he was reassigned months ago.

The SPD said it would check what he was doing back in Metro Manila.

In January 2015, Eco who was then head of the National Capital Region Police Office Holding Administrative Office, was suspended for telling reporters that policemen assigned to Pope Francis' visit had not received meal allowance.

Eco's claim was contrary to the statement of the Philippine National Police headquarters that the 2,400 pesos individual meal allowance had already been released to them.

Director Carmelo Valmoria, who was then chief of the National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO), reportedly reassigned Eco to the Caraga region for "being an uncontrollable officer". Valmoria also reportedly accused Eco of being involved in illegal activities.

In April 2015, the then-NCRPO director also ordered an investigation on Eco for his alleged involvement in the coddling of then-Barangay 112 chair Borbie Rivera, who was accused of the murder of Mark Felizardo Baggang.

Apart from the murder case, Valmoria said Rivera was being linked to illegal gambling, contract killing and drug trafficking.

On Aug 5, 2017, Rivera, who had been elected as a Pasay City councilor, was shot dead by gunmen on motorcycles at the entrance of SM Southmall in Las Pinas.

Police are still investigating the killing of Eco.