Cebu Archdiocese to PNP: Cooperate in EJK probes
THE Archdiocese of Cebu has urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to cooperate in the investigation conducted by different agencies on cases involving extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in the region.
According to Msgr. Joseph Tan, spokesperson of Archdiocese of Cebu, PNP’s cooperation will eliminate public fear in the anti-drug operations conducted under the Duterte administration.
“Because the public fears that more people might become a victim of Operation Tokhang, especially those operations that are beyond the limit of its procedure or law,” said Tan, adding that police cooperation in EJK probes will also help them clear their name.
Currently, the Commission on Human Rights in the region (CHR-7) is investigating the death of three siblings inside the compound of the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) in Barangay Guizo, Mandaue City, during an alleged police buy-bust operation last Oct 2.
John Vincent, Ruben and Jerome Umpad were shot and killed by personnel of the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) after the brothers allegedly resisted arrest and shot it out with policemen. The siblings had just been released from jail, three days before they were shot dead.
The Umpad family has filed a complaint before CHR-7 against the cops involved in the operation.
MCPO chief Sr. Supt. Roberto Alanas has insisted that the deadly police operation was legitimate and that he was open to an investigation.
But Leo Villarino, chief investigator of CHR-7, said that they have yet to receive MCPO’s answer to a subpoena sent to them by CHR as well as determine the number of policemen involved in that police operation.
“If they will not comply, then we will make recommendations over the case based on the statements that the complainant has submitted. I hope the police will not accuse us of not hearing their side,” Villarino said.
Currently, CHR-7 is monitoring 38 docketed cases of suspected EJKs for this year.
Villarino urged law enforcement agencies to be more aggressive in its investigation efforts and not just count crimes by the numbers.
“Here in Cebu, there are incidents of killings by riding-in-tandem. But there were no cases filed or persons charged for committing such crime,” Villarino said.
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