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CHR probes death of 19-year-old teen during bar scuffle in Davao

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
CHR probes death of 19-year-old teen during bar scuffle in Davao
The Commission on Human Rights said the goal of the independent investigation is to hold the perpetuator to account, secure justice for Amier Mangacop's death and possibly prompt a review the guidelines of firearm use in the country.
The STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said Saturday that its regional office in Davao is conducting a motu proprio investigation related to the death of 19-year-old student Amier Mangacop, who was hit by gunshots during a scuffle at a bar earlier this month. 

The shots were fired by suspect Marvin Rey Pepino, a doctor and non-uniformed police personnel who was there at the scene on July 2.

According to the Davao City Police Office, he claimed that he used his gun out of self-defense after being mauled by a group of men when he was trying to pacify the commotion between his friends and the Mangacop group, MindaNews reported. 

In an emailed statement on Saturday, CHR's Executive Director Jacqueline Ann de Guia pointed out conflicting accounts of both the physician and Mangacop's family. Amier's kin alleged that the student and his companions arrived in the middle of the scuffle, and they were neither drunk nor high, she said.

"CHR's independent investigation seeks to help establish the truth amid competing narratives from both sides. One point of inquiry is as to why a non-uniformed personnel is carrying a firearm outside the residence, particularly while drinking in a bar," De Guia said.

She said their goal is to hold the perpetuator to account, secure justice for Mangacop's death and possibly prompt a review the guidelines of firearm use in the country. 

At present, the San Pedro Police and the Philippine National Police Davao Region are conducting their own investigation, but the Mangacop family requested for the National Bureau of Investigation to handle to case instead over fears of "suppression and whitewash."

De Guia noted that it will hold on to the commitment of the law enforcers to conduct a "thorough, fair and unbiased" probe, along with the assurance that they will pursue appropriate criminal charges.

"We expect this commitment to be matched with fast action, including necessary cooperation with CHR's investigation, to ensure justice and accountability for assault against human life," she added.

CHR

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

DAVAO CITY

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