Four cops in Skyler death snub CHR invite
NOT one of the four policemen who took part in the botched anti-drug operation that killed 4-year-old Bladen Skyler Abatayo in Barangay Ermita, Cebu City appeared before the Commission on Human Rights in Central Visayas (CHR-7) on Friday.
CHR-7 Chief Investigator Leo Villarino said they earlier sent a request for the four policemen to drop by their office to shed light on the matter.
But no one came on the scheduled dates.
“Obviously, they do not want to cooperate. They did not appear so we have to proceed with what we have,” Villarino told Cebu Daily News on Friday.
He said the local police has not been cooperative with the CHR investigations following an order from their higher ups in Camp Crame.
“It has become their standard. They refused to give the CHR copies of their police reports and have not heeded our requests for concerned policemen to appear before us,” he said.
“For now, we have to be contented with what we have. We will not force them. At the end of the day, we will still resolve this,” he added.
Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), earlier explained that CHR-7 can still access the police reports but they have to first seek the permission from officials in Camp Crame.
NBI help sought
The CHR-7 has conducted a probe on the death of Abatayo who was hit by a stray bullet during a police operation in Barangay Ermita, Cebu City on July 10.
Villarino said the’ll have to coordinate with the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) which is conducting a separate probe on the incident.
“First, these four policemen were identified by the residents of the place as among those who took part in that operation. We would have wanted to know what transpired that day,” he said.
Senior Insp. John Kareen Escober, chief of the Carbon Police Station, earlier explained that four of his personnel were responding to a tip from a concerned citizen that four men were having a pot session on the second floor of an abandoned house adjoining the Abatayos’ home.
Escober said one of the operatives grappled with one of the drug suspects who was pointing a gun at them.
The police said the bullet that killed Abatayo was from the gun of one of the drug suspects.
Abatayo’s neighbors, however, refuted the police’s claim and said one of the policemen slipped causing his gun to fire.
The four policemen were subjected to a paraffin test about 48 hours after the incident. They also submitted their service firearms for ballistic examination.
Both tests turned out negative but the parents of Abatayo doubted the results.
The boy’s father Marc Anthony turned over the bullet that hit his son to the NBI-7.
The four policemen who took part in the operation were already relieved by Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde while an investigation is being conducted.
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