5 cops face murder raps

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag March 22,2015 - 09:10 AM

Five members of the Toledo City Police Station are facing a murder charge for the death of a detainee.

Foul play was established in the death of Alexis Velayo, who was arrested in a drug buy-bust operation Nov. 7 last year.

While police said he suffered a heart attack, the autopsy showed he died from a ruptured spleen and had several injuries in the body.

With this finding, the victim’s mother Delia and sister Ann Marie Taboada filed a murder complaint with the Toledo City Prosecutor’s Office last Friday.

The autopsy report by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was signed by medico-legal officer  Rene Cam.

Accused of murder are  Insp. Jovito Labra, PO3 John Ricafort, PO2 Romeo Jaranilla, PO2 Melchizedek Batomalaque and PO1 Readen Lara.

According to the mother and sister’s affidavit, a Toledo City police team led by Inspector Labra arrested Alexis in a buy-bust operation in barangay Dumlog, Toledo City.  Alexis was allegedly caught with illegal drugs and was brought to the city police station.

However, at 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 8,   he was found lying unconscious on the floor. Jail Officer Manuel Elijay said he heard somebody fall to the floor and  found Alexis lying flat  on the ground.

At 1:30 a.m., Alexis, who was already hypotensive, weak and pale was brought to the Toledo City Hospital. He died later that day.

The death certificate issued by the hospital and signed by Dr. Jatupon Andre Vatanagul said the cause of death was “cardiopulmonary arrest.”

The victim’s family got suspicious when they saw bruises on Alexis’ body.

The victim’s wife, Jolenda, first  filed a complaint against the policemen, but later withdrew it last March 10.

Alexis’  mother and his sister opposed the move and filed  another complaint last Friday.

They said they wanted to seek justice for Alexis.

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