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21 cops sanctioned over unsolved Davao killings

March 29, 2012 6:25pm
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has sanctioned 21 police officers for failing to thwart killings attributed to Davao City's notorious and shadowy vigilante group, dubbed as the Davao Death Squad.
In her decision, the Ombudsman found the lawmen guilty of "simple neglect of duty" and ordered them to pay a fine equivalent to one month's worth of their salaries.
"Ombudsman Morales approved the decision with modification as to penalty from one month suspension to fine equivalent to one month salary," a statement from the Office of the Ombudsman read.
Those sanctioned were:
  • Sr. Supt. Catalino Cuy;
  • Sr. Supt Jaime Morente;
  • Chief Insp. Matthew Baccay;
  • Chief Insp. Filmore Escobal;
  • Chief Insp. Leandro Felonia, Chief Insp. Marvin Manuel Pepino; 
  • Chief Insp. Ranulfo Cabanog; Chief Insp. Vicente Danao; 
  • Supt. Harry Espela; 
  • Supt. Michael John Dubria; 
  • Supt. Rommil Mitra; 
  • Sr. Insp. Maximiano Atuel;
  • Sr. Insp. Arnulfo Mahinay;
  • Chief Insp. Alden Delvo;
  • Insp. Rolly Tropico;
  • Ins. Dionisio Abude; 
  • Sr. Insp. Antonio Alberio Jr;
  • Chief Insp. Juel Neil Salcedo;
  • Chief Insp. Joselito Loriza;
  • Chief Insp. Joel Neil Rojo; and
  • Chief Insp. Napoleon Eguia.
The case stemmed from a complaint filed by a group called the Davao City Deserves Good Government Movement (DCDGGM), which claimed that the DDS was "responsible for the unsolved killings of more than 800 persons."
Data gathered by the Ombudsman showed that from 2005 to 2009, there had been 720 cases of killings in the city but less than half of them — or 321, to be exact — had been solved.
"From the foregoing figures, it is evident that respondents were remiss in their duty to significantly reduce the number of killings," the anti-graft office said.
“Also, the same shows that respondents failed to solve a substantial number, if not all, of the killings,” it added.
The complainants alleged that ranking officials of the Philippine National Police "were directly involved in the murders."
The Ombudsman also noted how the killings were repeatedly committed in areas near the precincts where the lawmen were assigned.
The Ombudsman cited as basis for its ruling Executive Order No. 226, which provides that policemen would be held "accountable for neglect of duty" if they have "knowledge of a crime... within their area of responsibility [but] did not take any preventive or corrective action."
The death squad is said to take justice into their own hands by killing suspected juvenile delinquents, drug addicts, and thieves in the city. 
Former Davao City Mayor and incumbent Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte had already insisted that killings were not state-sponsored. He added that the killings were committed by criminals against their fellow criminals. — Mark D. Merueñas/KBK, GMA News

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