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Cebu News

No theft, shoplifting – NBI: 3 security men were charged for death at dep’t store

Mylen P. Manto - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The legal battle starts over the mauling to death of a suspected shoplifter after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-7 filed yesterday the murder case against the security personnel formerly detailed at the Metro Gaisano Colon.

Mario Alfie Ducayag, a 23-year-old from Tuyan, Naga City, Cebu was accused of shoplifting a pair of sandals on April 12, 2013 and was apprehended by security personnel who took him to the investigation room at 1:55 p.m. as reflected in the closed-circuit television (CCTV).

After one hour, Ducayag was unconscious and no longer breathing when checked by the responding team of the Emergency Response Unit Foundation (ERUF). He was taken to the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) but was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician at 3:30 p.m.

Named respondents were Mauricio Doblados, 30, a resident of 48 B. Gil Tudtud St., Mabolo, Cebu City; Jeffrey Aquino, 31, a resident of 102-A, B. Rodriguez St., Sambag II, Cebu City and Melvin Boyles of St. Luke St., Don Bosco Village, Barangay Punta, Cebu City.

Lawyer Bernard dela Cruz, NBI agent handling the case, told the media that the filing of case took 55 days after the death of the victim because of an intense investigation conducted by their office. “We make sure that our evidence are strong,” he said, adding that they are confident considering the CCTV recording.

It was the victim’s mother Fe Soledad who asked the NBI to conduct a reautopsy and investigation on the death of Mario Alfie after PNP medico-legal officer Dr. Nestor Sator in his autopsy report stated that Mario Alfie died due to tuberculosis. But Soledad and her daughter, Marie Shantylle, stressed the victim has no tuberculosis.

NBI medico-legal officer Dr. Rene Cam stated that the cause of death of the victim was traumatic injury to the neck, contrary to the findings of Sator. Aside from the injury to the neck, he also had contusions in the torso and abrasions in the upper extremity, both lungs were congested and the left lung was collapsed with blood clots noted on the airway passages.

Based on the accounts of Doblados and Boyles it was Aquino who mauled Ducayag when the latter resisted to be handcuffed. But this was denied by Aquino.

No shoplifting

Pagatpat said investigation revealed that the alleged shoplifting “is wanting” in the case of Ducayag.

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of  the establishment in arresting a suspect, who was caught in the act of committing a crime, “must be continuously monitored by the security personnel who witnessed him stealing until the suspect steps out of the building.”

Uniformed guard has the authority to arrest the suspect. Within 30 minutes after the arrest, the suspect must be turned over to the nearest Police Station.

Considering the victim was still inside the establishment, Pagatpat said the SOP does not in any way apply to Ducayag.

“The procedural guidelines were all about apprehension of consummated shoplifter, procedure to handle stolen/shoplifted item and turn over of arrested person to the nearest police station. Clearly, the company policy and procedures consistently speak of a consummated crime of theft wherein the shoplifter is caught inflagrante delicto, which is conspicuously wanting in the case of Ducayag,” he concluded.

Pagatpat said the victim can be presumed as a “legitimate customer” when he went back to Counter-7 and called their attention regarding the missing receipt of his alleged purchased sandal. It was in this point in time when the employees of the mall were made aware of the “circumstances.”

“It is noteworthy to recall that the testimonial evidence and CCTV footages established the fact that victim, from the very start was neither accosted, questioned for having taken or in possession of Sandugo slipper, nor was he then under surveillance by the security personnel,” the transmittal reads.

Thus, Pagatpat said their office’s position “there was no theft or shoplifting” happened.

Marie Shantylle told the media that their family relied on Pagatpat’s word that the case filed against Dublados, Boyles and Aquino would warrant conviction.

“We are hoping and praying we can obtain justice. The incident has already been done…we just want them to answer and give my brother internal peace,” she said.

Upon reading the records of  the case, she said while crying it was the “most tragic story she ever read.”

A very emotional Fe Soledad said that though she and her daughter lost their job for following the investigation of the case but it was worth it. She expressed gratitude to the Office of the NBI especially Pagatpat and dela Cruz for the efforts they exerted.

Cerwin Eviota, spokesperson of Metro Department Stores and Supermarkets, in a press statement said on behalf of Metro Gaisano Colon they support the Ducayag family.

“We support the sentiments of the Ducayag family that the investigation has now come to a closure with the appropriate cases now filed with the prosecutor’s office. On the matter if the victim had shoplifted, we stand by our position that such an act was committed based on material and testimonial evidences,” he said.

Lawyer Salvador Solima, counsel of Aquino told The FREEMAN once they receive the subpoena from the handling prosecutor they will file a counter-affidavit.  —/JPM (FREEMAN)

AQUINO

BARANGAY PUNTA

CASE

CEBU CITY

DUCAYAG

FE SOLEDAD

MARIE SHANTYLLE

MARIO ALFIE

METRO GAISANO COLON

VICTIM

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