CHR wraps up probe against policemen as ordered by central office

September 2, 2015 5:58 am 

DUMAGUETE CITY, Sept. 1 — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has completed its investigation on a case that has caught the attention of CHR Manila when it was earlier reported to purportedly be a case of extra judicial killing (EJK) but was later ruled out when it was proven that there was no shooting at all.

However, the CHR did not stop there and instead went further, following allegations of human rights violations against the suspect, Romeo Amoma, Jr.

Negros Oriental CHR field investigator Dr. Jess Cañete’s findings showed a high probability that all named respondents, except for PO3 Jonathan Abucayon, had conspired to arrest, detain and plant evidence on Amoma.

Cañete believes human rights violations were committed by police officers, namely, Sr. Insp. Ryan Jay Orapa, PO3 Sarito Ongy, PO2 Marvin Buenaflor, PO1 Retoni Jun Escala, PO1 Ricknie Briones and a civilian, Jun Phalex Acabal.

Possible charges recommended by Cañete before the military ombudsman include violations of Article 24 of the Revised Penal Code for arbitrarily detention, violation of Republic Act 7438 for their alleged failure to extend the rights of Amoma under custodial investigation, violation of RA 6713 otherwise known as the code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials and employees and for alleged planting of evidence which is provided for under Section 29 of RA 9165 otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Except for Acabal, Cañete has also recommended for the filing of administrative charges with grave misconduct against the five police officers.

On the CCTV footage which was used as evidence by complainant, Cañete said it was authentic and there was no alteration following the admission of the gasoline station manager that he took a video footage of the CCTV footage with the use of his own cellphone.

Cañete explained the gasoline station manager had to do that because the video recording on the CCTV system automatically deletes files within a certain number of days thereafter.

Meanwhile, PNP provincial director Sr. Supt Dionardo Carlos said the command is conducting its own investigation on the case and respects the findings of the CHR.

Carlos refused to divulge the results of their investigation until after the CHR findings had been released.

He stressed the command will not tolerate any of these activities, in telling the CHR to bring this matter to court, so concerned police officers will be given equal rights to defend themselves under the principle of due process.

For now, the respondents are practically under restrictive custody for them to be available during the investigation, while continuously performing their respective functions.

For his part, Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs-Special Operations Task Group (PAID-SOTG) team leader Sr. Insp. Ryan Jay Orapa said that while they respect the CHR findings, they are very frustrated and disappointed.

He said that inspite of the low morale of his men who were named respondents in the case they still continue to perform their duties and responsibilities in running after persons responsible for the drug menace.

Orapa said they are doing this for the community and that individuals who have maligned their name will realize this problem needs the cooperation of the public, being the root of all evils. They need to hit hard on drug suppliers, peddlers and users to prevent this menace from being blown out of proportion. (PNA)

LAP/JFP/JG

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