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Freeman Region

Autopsy set to be conducted on Mabinay shootout victims

Judy Flores Partlow - The Freeman

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines  — The Commission on Human Rights-Negros Oriental has begun its motu proprio investigation into the killing of five people during a shootout with policemen inside the DENR compound at Barangay Bulwang in Mabinay town on November 18.

Jess Cañete, special investigator and chief of the CHR-Negros Oriental, on Thursday said the CHR central office in Manila will be sending over next week two forensic teams to exhume the bodies of the slain men and conduct autopsies as part of the investigation process.

Each team will have one medico-legal doctor and two assistants, plus Cañete, who will also be actively involved in the forensic investigation.

Cañete said early this week he already met with the families and relatives of those died in the shootout between an armed group of civilians and operatives of the Regional Public Safety Battalion-7. The family members have cooperated in the investigation initiated by the CHR and have signed a conformé allowing for the autopsy of their dead relatives, Cañete said.

To be exhumed and autopsied will be the bodies of Feliciano "Fely" Candido, the alleged leader of the purported armed group, Cedric Regino, Angel Torres, Renato Torres and Graciano Embalsado.

Police reports said Candido's group, on Nov. 18, went to the DENR office in Bulwang to negotiate for the release of a chainsaw, belonging to one of their companions, which was earlier confiscated for alleged illegal tree cutting at a reforestation site in Mabinay.

DENR-Mabinay station chief Dionesia Trongcoso, noticing that the group members were armed, immediately asked for police assistance. The responding policemen, in the course of discussions, asked a Candido group member, who was seen to have a bulging item on his waist, to volunteer for inspection. However, another in the group allegedly reacted by firing at the police instead, triggering the shootout.

As the smoke cleared, Candido and four of his companions were dead, one was wounded and three others were arrested. Three policemen were also slightly wounded. Police later recovered firearms and ammunition from the civilians, and charged in court those who were arrested.

It was learned later that Candido and three of his slain companions (Regino, Angel and Renato Torres) were members of the Bais City's Civil Security Office and job order employees of the Bais local government unit. The fifth fatality, Embalsado, was a civilian.

The families of the slain men had alleged that they were not killed in a shootout but were shot at close range, a matter that Cañete said he would include in his investigation. Cañete said he will be requesting for copies of the investigation reports of the Scene of Crime Operatives who had responded after the shootout.

Cañete said he will also be taking the affidavits of family members and some witnesses to the shooting incident. If warranted, he will also summon the concerned RPSB-7 personnel after the autopsy reports are out, he added.

The bodies of Candido, Angel Torres, Renato Torres and Embalsado were buried at the cemetery in the Bais City proper while that of Regino will be exhumed from the cemetery at Barangay Sab-ahan, also in Bais.

The autopsy and forensic investigation is expected to run for three days, Cañete added.  (FREEMAN)

 

ANGEL AND RENATO TORRES

ANGEL TORRES

ATILDE

BAIS CITY

BARANGAY BULWANG

BARANGAY SAB

CANDIDO

CEDRIC REGINO

ETE

MABINAY

PLUSMN

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