Manila City Hall. Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Jhun80
Manila City Hall. Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Jhun80

A court in Manila has convicted nine policemen of the murder of two men who they thought were rebels from Mindanao but were actually overseas Filipino workers.

Esmael Omar and Samin Akmad were shot dead on June 8, 2000 by the police in Quiapo after they were mistaken for Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels, The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

Details were released on Thursday of the court ruling on November 9, when the Regional Trial Court in Manila City Hall convicted the nine policemen of murder.

The policemen argued that they were only defending themselves during the incident. However, the court said they were determined to kill the pair because of the multiple gunshots that struck the victims’ bodies.

The nine police received jail terms ranging from six to 12 years and were ordered to pay 180,000 pesos (US$3,600) to families of the victims for death indemnity, moral damages and exemplary damages.

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