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Inconsistencies found in tanods’ statements

CEBU, Philippines — Did the tanods lie?

Police are pointing out inconsistencies in the testimonies of barangay tanods involved in the controversial shooting of a detainee in Barangay Ermita, Cebu City past midnight last Tuesday.

SPO1 Winston Ybañez, one of the policemen investigating the incident, said the logbook at the barangay hall where victim Lendon Abadinas was brought indicates he was arrested for theft, not for threatening to hurt people with a steel bar, as what the tanods said.

The logbook says the tanods spotted Abadinas burglarizing a store at the Freedom Park at the Carbon Market at about 6:30 p.m. of October 9.

 When tanods Junnel Sanchez and Jerome Miral approached Abadinas, this was when Abadinas allegedly resisted and threatened to hurt them with the steel bar.

“Di man to mao ilang gi record, buhat buhat ra man sila og storya… gipangutana bitaw kinsay biktima, wala, ang dakop dili mao, ang dakop nagdala og bunal… niya ang record nangawat,” Ybañez told The FREEMAN.

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Another investigator, SPO2 Wetzel Berry, also questioned the tanods’ statement that Abadinas tried to escape and wrestled with Sanchez when he was being moved to the police station nearby.

“How come man makasukol nga nakaposas na niya naka-tape? Before migawas sa barangay hall, naka-posas, naka tape… defenseless jud ang biktima,” Berry said.

Earlier, two men who were detained with Abadinas at the barangay hall stockade also said Abadinas was placed there Sunday night, contrary to the statement of the tanods that they arrested him Monday night.

The two other detainees also testified that it was Miral who punched Abadinas before handcuffing him and covering his mouth with a masking tape. This allegedly happened shortly before Abadinas was to be turned over to the police.

On the way out of the barangay hall in Ermita, Abadinas allegedly tried to wrestle himself out of Sanchez’ grip and it was at the height of a supposed scuffle that Sanchez admitted he shot Abadinas unintentionally.

Even with a gunshot wound to his chest, Abadinas still managed to run to the Carbon Police Station located a few meters away but slumped to the ground right outside it. Still, he was able to tell policemen it was a tanod who shot him.

Sanchez and Miral are detained temporarily at the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) as they await charges.

Berry said there is strong evidence for a possible case of murder.

“Lig-on kaayo, numero uno ang gunman. Kapwa tanod ang ikaduha… ang Miral, naay detainee maka-witness,” Berry said.

Chief Supt. Jose Mario Espino said further investigation is necessary to determine the loopholes in the arrest procedure.

“Sa mga ganung instances na may doubt at nabaril yung suspect, we will conduct the appropriate investigation and from that investigation some lessons will be learned… we will cascade ulit sa mga barangay tanods and officials yung proper procedures,” Espino said.

 “Every time there is an incident, we learn from that incident and take the appropriate measure in order not to repeat,” Espino added.

 He reiterated that barangay tanods are not allowed to carry unlicensed firearms and those that they arrest should be turned over immediate to the police.

“Ang protocol diyan, they should immediately turn it over sa PNP police station for the proper investigation or they will be charged with arbitrary detention,” Espino said. (FREEMAN)

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