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NBI files murder complaint vs. Lambayong cops over 'shootout' with 3 youths

The National Bureau of Investigation on Monday facilitated the filing of murder complaints before the Department of Justice against cops of Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat over the deaths of three youths in December 2022.

The victims’ family filed complaints of murder, falsification of public document, planting of evidence against cops, including former police chief Jenahmeel Tonaco, for the deaths of 19-year-old Samanoden Mustapha, 20-year-old Horton Naki Ansa, and 18-year-old Arshad Tingao.

“‘Yun po ‘yung allegations ng PNP ay shootout, but based on the documents that we have sila po ay binaril,” Atty. Ronald Hallid Torres, lawyer of the victims' families, said in an ambush interview.

(The PNP alleges that there was a shootout, but based on the documents that we have, they were shot.)

According to a report from Police Regional Office 12, the three victims aboard a motorcycle ignored a police checkpoint in Barangay Didtaras in Lambayong town early morning on December 1. That's when the alleged shootout reportedly took place after policemen went after the teenagers.

According to police, the victims were brought to Evangelista Medical Clinic and Hospital for medical treatment but they were pronounced dead on arrival.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) however refutes that there was a checkpoint during the supposed shootout. 

"Walang nangyari na altercation between yung mga victims and PNP. It turned out na walang checkpoint during that time," said NBI spokesperson Atty. Giselle Dumlao in Saleema Refran's report on "24 Oras".

(There was no altercation between the victims and the PNP. There wasn't even a checkpoint during that time.)

"'Yung tama ng mga victim at ang trajectory ay merong downward at upward, so it's possible sa findings na hindi during shootout nangyari because malapitan ang tama... Nangyari ay murder," added Dumlao. 

(The bullets' trajectory was both downward and upward. In our findings, the shooting did not happen during the shootout because they were shot in close range. What happened was murder.)

“Meron po tayong mga post-mortem report, meron tayong autopsy, meron tayong ballistic report kaya kumpleto po ang mga dokumento na ebidensyang magpapakita ng kanilang kasalanan,” said Torres.

(We have a post-mortem report, we have an autopsy, we have a ballistic report so we have documents that show their guilt.)

Torres said the post-mortem report indicates that the three youths were shot at close range, while one was shot while kneeling.

“Malapitan po silang binaril, yung isa sa kanila po ay nakaluohod na, ‘yung tama po ng trajectory ng bala kahit nakaluhod na po ay binaril pa rin po,” Torres said.

(They were shot in close range. One of them was show while kneeling, the trajectory of the bullet shows that even if he was kneeling.)

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, meanwhile, believes the incident shows that it's time to implement reforms within the PNP. 

"It’s about time that we did something about it kasi lumalabas structural ang problema. Structurally may problema tayo sa IAS and then the NAPOLCOM is not very active. The NAPOLCOM seems to be wanting in its job. Kulang sa aksyon ang NAPOLCOM sa police discipline," said Remulla. 

(It's about time we did something about it. It seems the problem is in the structure. The IAS and NAPOLCOM were not very active. NAPOLCOM lacks action when it comes to disciplining police.)

GMA News has reached out to the PNP and those accused in the case but has yet to get a comment. —VAL/KBK, GMA Integrated News.