TACLOBAN CITY-The family of a man who reportedly died at the hands of a police officer in Maasin City is calling that justice be served to them.
Marck Padilla, cousin of Gilbert Ranes, 34, said that the family hopes that all the identified policemen who were said to be responsible on the incident would be held responsible.
“We are demanding justice be served to us. We seek that all the five policemen identified to have a part in the brutal killing of Jebew be discharged from service,” he said, referring his cousin by his nickname.
Ranes, eldest of the brood of five siblings whose both parents are out of work, was buried on Thursday (Dec.15) at the public cemetery in Macrohon, Southern Leyte.
According to Padilla, his cousin who worked as a tattoo artist and a fisherman, happened to be in Maasin City where the incident happened.
“He was a good person and has no bad record, even in our barangay. They could have brought him to the police station if indeed he was guilty instead of killing him,” he added.
On Dec.9, Ranes was accosted by Staff Sgt. Ronald Gamayon on the ground that he was suspected to have snatched a unit of iPhone S cellular phone with a value of P50,000 in Barangay Mantahan at about 7 pm.
Gamayon, a member of the provincial intelligence unit, reportedly beat the suspect.
The alleged mauling incident was said to have been recorded by some bystanders.
Four of the policemen who were on duty at that time, S/Sgts. Ricky Mantos and Jovan Alvarez, Corp. Russell Salar, and Pat. Rolando America, reportedly did nothing on the matter except bringing Ranes to the police station.
On Dec.12, Gamayon was placed under restrictive custody at the Southern Leyte provincial headquarters while the four other police officers were reassigned at the same headquarters.
On Dec.13, a case of homicide was filed against Gamayon at the City Prosecutor’s Office in Maasin.
Col. Hector Enage, the provincial police director, said that the provincial internal affairs service is conducting an investigation against the four reassigned cops.
Enage said that the result of the investigation will determine what possible liabilities were committed by the four in handling suspects of a crime.
“Our investigation is still ongoing if, among the four policemen, they can be charged administratively,” he said.
But this early, the charges that may be filed against the four cops could be neglect of duty or outright dismissal from service, Enage said.
The incident involving one of his cops irked Police Regional Director B/Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil who immediately ordered for a thorough investigation by forming a special investigation task force.
The said task force is headed by Col. Salvador Alacyang, deputy regional director for operations with Col. Enage as a commander.
“Rest assured that this PRO (Police Regional Office) will closely monitor this case or similar incidents involving officers under my watch. Here in Eastern Visayas, we do not tolerate misfits among our rank and file. We always see to it that truth prevails,” Marbil said in a statement.
Based on a post-mortem examination conducted by the city health unit, Ranes suffered hematoma on both eyes and multiple abrasions on his neck and face.
(JOEY A. GABIETA/ROBERT DEJON)