Police implicated in deaths of 3 teens in Sultan Kudarat relieved from post

John Unson - Philstar.com
Police implicated in deaths of 3 teens in Sultan Kudarat relieved from post

TACURONG CITY, Philippines — The police offciers involved in an alleged shootout in Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat late Friday that left three teens dead have been relieved from their posts pending results of an investigation, a senior police official said Tuesday.

Police Col. Christopher Bermudez, director of the Sultan Kudarat provincial police, said the members of the Lambayong Municipal Police Station blamed for the deaths of the three victims had been stripped of their functions to pave the way for an impartial probe on the incident.

Three adolescents — Samanudin Ali, Horton Ansa, Jr. and Arsad Ansa — died in the incident.

Bermudez did not identify the police officers implicated in the teens' deaths.

Sources from the Police Regional Office-12 in General Santos City told reporters the chief of the Lambayong Municipal Police Office, Police Maj. Jenahmeel Toñacao, had been replaced and is now on floating status.

Toñacao earlier said Ali and the Ansas were killed in a shootout with police in Barangay Didtaras in Lambayong around midnight Friday.

Relatives of the victims had told reporters they have witnesses who refuted the police narrative of the incident.

Toñacao said they also found a sachet of shabu in the pants pocket of one of the teens. 

Ali had gunshot wounds in both palms. Witnesses said these show that he raised his hands as police shot him with assault rifles.

Horton Ansa, Sr., fatherof one of the victims, is a police patrolman assigned in one of the towns in nearby Maguindanao province. He told reporters there were indications that his son and his two companions were shot at close range.

Relatives told reporters that police first strangled Arsad, who is a cousin of Horton, Jr., using his shirt before they shot him dead.

Ronald Hallid Dimacisil Torres, a human rights lawyer in Cotabato City, has offered to help the families of the three adolescents if they intend to prosecute the police officers tagged in the death of the victims.



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