CHR unfazed by Tommy O’s criticism
A three-man forensic team from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) central office would be arriving in Cebu on Monday to conduct the autopsy on the body of John Jason Montes, one of the three alleged drug suspects slain on Banacon Island last Saturday.
Leo Villarino, officer-in-charge of the CHR Central Visayas investigation division, said the autopsy would be done in the afternoon or evening of June 6, a day before the scheduled burial of Montes.
He said they also would have wanted to conduct an autopsy on the remains of alleged drug lord Rowen Secretaria alias Yawa and his cohort Dario Torremocha but both had been buried on Banacon Island.
Villarino appealed to their relatives to contact his office, at number 032-2535403, if they would wish to cooperate in the investigation. He said he could arrange for the exhumation and autopsy of their bodies if their relatives would allow it.
Villarino said the autopsy would enable them to find out if there was foul play in the death of the three suspects.
Among others, the autopsy could determine if they were shot at close range as claimed by a child witness and alleged by the family of Montes; how many gunshot wounds they sustained; and the entry and exit wounds, among others, he said.
Villarino said they got yesterday a copy of the death certificate of Montes from his mother, Susana, who earlier secured it from the municipal health office of Getafe.
The death certificate, signed by Dr. Monica Cagulada, said Montes died due to cardio respiratory arrest resulting from multiple gunshot wounds. But the certificate did not indicate how many gunshot wounds he sustained and which parts of the body were hit.
Villarino stressed their investigation will not be affected by Cebu City Mayor-elect Tomas Osmena, who has started calling CHR as a “Criminals Have Rights” agency.
He stressed CHR is an independent body that serves as a watchdog against abuses of the country’s state security forces.
The family of Montes, meanwhile, appealed for financial help for his burial.
His 52-year old father Victor, a food vendor, said they received a P10,000 from the burial assistance program of Cebu City North District Rep. Raul Del Mar but they needed about P35,000 to pay for his son’s coffin, burial services and burial vault.
Victor and his wife Susana believed their son was innocent and there was foul play in his death, the reason why they sought help from CHR.
Victor said they would be asking the parents of the witness, a 10-year-old girl, to allow their child to cooperate in the CHR probe. The girl’s family, a relative of Secretaria, is reportedly also from Barangay Ermita.
“Help us, we need justice for our son,” Victor appealed to the witness family.
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