8 cops charged over ‘rubout’

A post-mortem report indicates that the three fatalities were shot at close range

Eight policemen from Lambayog, Sultan Kudarat were charged with murder and other criminal charges before the Department of Justice for their involvement in the alleged shootout that left three teenage boys dead last December.

Charged were Lambayong police chief P/Maj. Jenahmeel Tonaco, P/SMs. Syril Mahaddi, P/Cpl. Elpedio Garlit, P/Cpl. Joffrey Apall, and Patrolmen Nicol Dion Toreja, Basser Mako, Mario Rombaoa Jr., and Roldan Claveria.

The respondents, assigned at the Lambayog Municipal Police Station, were also charged with the planting of evidence, falsification of documents, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, and irregularity in the performance of duty.

The complaints were filed before the National Prosecution Service of the DoJ by the parents of the three fatalities, identified as Samanoden Mustapha, Horton Ansa Jr. and Arshad Tingao.

The National Bureau of Investigation assisted the parents in filing the charges against the policemen. Atty. Ronald Hallid Torres, representing the parents of the victims, told reporters the alleged shootout did not happen.

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

The three teenagers aboard a motorcycle ignored a police checkpoint in Barangay Didtaras, Lambayong on 1 December prompting the police officers to chase them.

The cops claimed that a shootout ensued after the victims fired at them. They were then brought to a nearby hospital but were declared dead upon arrival.

The police also claimed that they found a sachet of shabu in the pants of one of the teenagers.

But a post-mortem report indicates that the three were shot at close range.

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