"Earlier this morning (yesterday), the Chief of the Investigation Section was instructed to look into the alleged shootout which resulted to the death of the 7 suspects on what has been described as the most number of fatalities in a single police operation in Lapu-Lapu City," Odron told The Freeman in a text message.
File
CHR to probe shootout
Christell Fatima M. Tudtud, May Miasco, Mae Clydyl L. Avila (The Freeman) - September 28, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights in Central Visayas is looking into possible violations committed by the police during the bloody encounter Wednesday afternoon that killed seven suspected criminals in Barangay Pajac, Lapu-Lapu City.

 

CHR-7 Director Atty. Arvin Odron yesterday ordered his top investigator, Leo Villarino, to investigate the incident.

"Earlier this morning (yesterday), the Chief of the Investigation Section was instructed to look into the alleged shootout which resulted to the death of the 7 suspects on what has been described as the most number of fatalities in a single police operation in Lapu-Lapu City," Odron told The Freeman in a text message.

Part of the investigation is to determine whether there was abuse of authority committed by the police in killing Abundio de la Torre Jr., Allan de la Torre, Mohaimen Conda Mauyag, Shainoden Dimasimpan, Manuel Pepito, and a certain Jovan and Mantak during a shootout in Sitio St. Michael, Barangay Pajac, Lapu-Lapu City Wednesday afternoon.

"Part of the investigation will focus on whether under the prevailing circumstances, our State authorities are authorized to use their firearms which eventually led in the shooting to death of the suspects," said Odron.

Odron explained that they could not just rely on media accounts about the incident in making their report to the central office.

"The CHR needs to conduct an independent investigation and come up with a concrete finding out of its own impartial investigation," he said.

Police Regional Office-7 director Chief Supt. Debold Sinas and Lapu-Lapu City Police Office chief Senior Supt. Lemuel Obon welcomed the CHR-7 investigation. 

Obon said they are open for investigation saying it was a legitimate police operation.

"That was a hot pursuit operation, naa sa ato ang rules of engagement ang purpose is to apprehend, gibakbakan ato police visible nga naa dinha," Obon said.

“We will let them investigate, we are not hiding anything and it was legitimate operation. Anyways there is Regional Internal Affairs Service (RIAS) that will conduct a motto propio (automatic investigation) if they see any form of illegitimacy in the death of the seven,” Sinas also said.

Families not Complaining

The families of the suspects, however, said they are not interested to file a complaint against the police.

Fe Hilaon, wife of Pepito, said she is not interested to file a complaint. She admitted having heard of information that her husband was involved in illegal activities but she believes that these were not true.

Guillerma dela Torre, Abundio's mother, said she is not filing a complaint because she has accepted her son’s fate.

Abundio and Dimasimpan were tagged by the police mastermind in the killing of aviation student Kristian Saldavia last September 16.

Retaliatory Attacks?

Meanwhile, police security has been beefed up in Lapu-Lapu City following reports that the relatives of the suspects, especially the Muslim community, are seeking revenge.

A message warning residents of the city of supposed retaliatory attacks went viral in the social media yesterday.  

Obon said they have yet to verify whether the information is true but he assured the people that they are safe.

"Dili ta mahadlok nila. Ang gobyerno ug ang atoang kapolisan andam kanunay ug padayon nga magmaintain sa kahapsay ug seguridad sa atoang dakbayan. Dakopon namo dayon ang among makit-an nga magdala dala ug armas. Ang mosukol, magmahay," Obon said.

Obon asked the public to help them by reporting suspicious people in their area.

"We ask (for) their support to report to us any suspicious or armed persons for our appropriate action," Obon said.

Obon said that the relationship of the police and the Muslim community will not be affected by the recent encounter. He said they have been coordinating with the Muslim community in the fight against all forms of illegal activities.

Obon said that the Muslim leaders in Lapu-Lapu City had been very cooperative.—  FPL (FREEMAN)

 

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS SHOOTOUT
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