There were no signs of overkill and close-range firing.
These were the initial results of the autopsy conducted yesterday by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) forensic team from Manila on the remains of John Jason Montes.
The four-man team headed by Dr. Ludivino Lagat arrived in Cebu City at noon yesterday just to conduct autopsy on the remains of John Jason, amid allegations of foul play involving his death and that of drug lord Rowen Secretaria and their cohort Dario Torremocia in a police operation on May 28 on Banacon Island, Getafe, Bohol.
The autopsy was conducted on the same day that the Philippine National Police yesterday officially recognized with Medalya ng Kagalingan (PNP Merit Medal) the members of the raiding team who killed Secretaria, Montes and Torremocia. The PNP has strongly denied allegations that the three were summarily killed.
But John Jason’s parents, Victor and Susana Montes, asked the CHR in Central Visayas to investigate the claim of witnesses, including a 10-year-old girl, that Montes, 22, had raised his hand in surrender but was still repeatedly shot by the police.
Lagat said John Jason was shot in right armpit that exited to his left armpit but it proved fatal because it hit his left lung.
“Natamaan ang kanyang magkaliwang baga (His left lung was hit),” Lagat said in an interview at the Eternal Memories Funeral Service at Natalio Bacalso Avenue in Cebu City, where the autopsy was conducted.
Aside from the bullet wound on his armpits, another bullet wound was found on his left wrist.
John Jason’s parents declined to comment on the initial finding but showed to Cebu Daily News a copy of his death certificate which said that he died due to blood loss, cardiac arrest and multiple gunshot wounds.
Lagat refused to give other details of their autopsy, as they still have to make a report after they have returned to Metro Manila. The results will be released in one or two weeks, he said.
Leo Villarin, CHR-7 investigator, said after John Jason will be laid to rest today, his mother Susana was asked to go to the CHR 7 office to issue her own affidavit on the circumstances surrounding her son’s death.
“We need complete and enough evidence before we would let the police answer their allegation,” Villarin told the reporters in an interview.
He said they would also want the Montes family to bring witnesses who can support their allegation that the death of John Jason, Secretaria and Torremocia was a case of a rubout, not due to a shootout with the police.
“The results of the autopsy has a big impact. We can identify how many wounds there are and identify how he was killed,’ Villarino added.
He also clarified that the autopsy conducted was for free. The family only needed to pay the morgue for the facility used during the autopsy.
Villarino said they were also willing to investigate the death Secretaria and Torremocia if the families of these two slain alleged drug personalities would ask for it. So far, however, no such request came from the families of the two others who were killed in the raid.
John Jason will, meanwhile, be buried today wearing a white jersey from his favorite team, Oklahoma City Thunder, according to his father Victor.
Victor and Susana went out of the morgue when their son was taken out of his his coffin for the autopsy.
The 52-year-old father then sat on the bench and began crying.
“They killed my son. He was innocent. How would they feel if their children would die like this?” he lamented.
Victor said he was disappointed with Cebu City Mayor-elect Tomas Osmeña and the police for labeling his son as a cohort of a drug lord.
He stressed he has no problem about Osmeña giving away cash reward for every slain criminal for as long as it would not take the lives of innocent people.
“The problem was my son has never been into drug trade. He was a basketball player and a paintor,” he added.
John Jason will be laid to rest at the Calamba Cemetery at noon today. A Requiem Mass will be held at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish at 11 a.m.
The family planned to hold the funeral procession from Barangay Ermita and will pass by Cebu City Hall, with placards calling for justice for John Jason.
The Philippine National Police, meanwhile, recognized with Medalya ng Kagalingan (PNP Merit Medal) the members of the raiding team who killed Secretaria and two of his cohorts.
The members of the team who received recognition were Senior Insp. Joey Bicoy, Senior Insp. Leo Logrono, Insp. Mikhail Mallorca, SPO2 Francis Allen Villamor, SPO1 Celso Paquibot Sr., and PO1 Rolex Borgonia.
The team was among the policemen in Central Visayas who were commended for the successful operations against illegal drugs and other crimes and for the peaceful conduct of the May 9 elections.
PNP Deputy Director General Danilo Constantino, who handed out the awards, also cautioned erring police officers to stop what they are doing or else they will face the consequences of their actions.
Constantino echoed the call of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte for corrupt police officials to resign.
“They (erring policemen) still have time to resign. I think they should not wait for the new administration to come in,” said Constantino in an interview after the recognition rites at the PRO 7 quadrangle yesterday morning.
Duterte alleged that at least three police generals were involved with illegal drugs, but he refused to name them.
Constantino said a reshuffling of all police officers is expected to be implemented when Duterte assumes the presidency.
As has been done in the past when a new president comes in, top PNP officers find themselves taking different posts as a new PNP chief comes in.
The police official lauded the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO 7) for the headway it has made against big-time criminals.
He gave the Medalya ng Pambihirang Paglilingkod (Special Service Medal) to Chief Supt. Patrocinio Comendador, PRO 7 director, for intensified police operations that led to the seizure of 436 loose firearms, the arrest of 803 wanted persons, and the busting of six crime gangs and eight gun-for-hire groups.
The sustained police operations contributed to the 81 percent voter’s turnout nationwide and for the peaceful conduct of the May 9 elections, he added.
Comendador also received the Medalya ng Kagalingan for having kept the elections peaceful along with Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas, Chief Supt. Sheldon Jacaban, Senior Supt. Armando Radoc, Senior Supt. Dennis Agustin (Bohol), Senior Supt. Clifford Gairanod (Cebu), Senior Supt. Erson Digal (Siquijor), Senior Supt. Benhamin Santos (Cebu City), Senior Supt. Arnel Libed (Lapu-Lapu City), and Senior Supt. Jonathan Cabal (Mandaue City.)
A Medalya ng Kagalingan was given to the Regional Special Operations Task Group (RSOTG) for their participation in the arrest of Michael Florida, the number one most wanted person in Central Visayas last May 19. The recipients were Supt. Rex Derilo, Supt. George Ylanan, Senior Insp. Ruel Burlat, SPO1 Roy Carlo Veloso, PO2 Esmeraldo Quillosa, and PO1 Rey Rosell.
The PNP also handed rewards to Supt Elmer Lim, SPO1 Mikee Espina, PO2 Dennis Onasin, PO2 Roy Lofranco, and PO2 Edwin Campomanes for the conviction of Joavan Fernandez, adopted son of Talisay City Councilor Socrates Fernandez, for illegal possession of explosives and firearms.
Senior Supt. Marlon Tayaba, Senior Insp. Lirio Coral, SPO1 Willard Selibio, SPO3 Reynaldo Romero, PO3 Aquiles Gimenez, and PO1 Melvin Mocorre were recognized for the seizure of 1.3 kilos of shabu worth P15.3 million from big time drug peddler John Neil Cabintingan in Medellin, Cebu.
Recognitions were also given to Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos, regional chief directiorial staff, and Supt. Arnulfo Castillo, PRO 7 chaplain.
Present during the recognition rites were Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III and Cebu City Acting Mayor Margot Osmeña.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.