Cop under probe for ‘shooting’ man
Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - July 16, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Another cop is now under investigation after he was pointed to as the suspect behind the death of a 40-year-old male who was assaulted last June 21 in Minglanilla, Cebu.

In a Facebook post, Merculisa Racho, 63, a resident of Lower Calajoan, Minglanilla, cried for justice over the death of her son, Junrey Racho Maquilan, 40, who just went into a birthday celebration when he was reportedly physically assaulted by Police Staff Sergeant Junarie Bacus Latorre.

In the post, Racho had narrated that Maquilan asked for her permission to attend a birthday party in a nearby area last June 21. At around 11 p.m., she received a report that her son was rushed to the hospital after he was reportedly assaulted.

At 3 a.m., the victim was pronounced dead.

Racho added that when she was about to report the incident to the police station, she was denied since her son allegedly has a present blotter report filed against him for direct assault filed by Latorre.

“Nagpa-blotter ang police ug direct assault sa akong anak.  Ingon siya nga ni self-defense ra daw niya matud pa sa iyang report.  Pero kung tarung siyang pagkapulis, nganong patyon paman gyud niya? Ug kung gidala nalang pud diay niya sa police station nila ug gibugbog patagam, nganong patyon paman gyud niya nga hubog man pud iyang kontra? Gibutang-butangan pag naay pistula nga 22 magnum, asa man intawn na ug baril akong anak nga wala man intawn nay ka kwarta-kwarta, pobre raman intawn mi,” Racho’s post reads.

Police Colonel Roderick Mariano of the Cebu Police Provincial Office said they have already disarmed Latorre pending the investigation since he claimed that the incident was self-defense.

“The chief of police is already conducting yung kanyang investigation, even though na yung suspect yung ating policeman ay na dis-armahan na.  His firearm is subjected na sa crime lab na submit na rin sya together with the firearm na recovered doon sa area and then pina-paraffin din natin yung suspect.  So, walang ipag-alala yung mga relatives na hindi natin ginawa o hindi ginawa ng ating COP (chief of police) yung basic yung rules ng engagement duon sa nangyari na yun,” said Mariano.

Mariano added that Latorre was conducting an intelligence monitoring in the area about an alleged illegal drug trading. Quoting Latorre, the policeman was just reportedly sitting down on his motorcycle when he was suddenly approached by Maquilan who was having a drinking session with other people.

Based on the statement of the witnesses, Latorre was allegedly threatened by Maquilan that he will shoot him with his firearm.

“It is a reported case naman we have a spot report doon sa nangyari.  Yong sinasabing ano, isa iyong operation ng agent nya (kung saan) binaril yung suspek yung araw na yon,” said Mariano.

When Maquilan allegedly fired, Latorre was reportedly able to duck. The firing triggered a commotion which led to Latorre beating Maquilan with the firearm he was able to get from him.

Initial investigation also revealed that Maquilan was just recently released through plea bargaining for illegal drug charges.  GAN (FREEMAN)

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