Legazpi police chief, 6 cops sacked on mystery killing of inmate   | BICOL TODAY

Legazpi police chief, 6 cops sacked on mystery killing of inmate  

Michael Obogne. Contributed Photo

By Manly M. Ugalde

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay – Seven (7) police officers in Legazpi City were ordered sacked after an inmate was found dead from bullet wounds in a distant grassy village two days after his arrest on October 31.

Relatives of the victim sought the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to investigate the killing of Michael Obogne, 29, following statements issued by the victim’s two companions who claimed to have survived the ordeal in the hands of Legazpi police.

The two survivors are reportedly in the care of a private group.

Albay Police provincial director S/Supt. Antonino Cirujales ordered the relief of 7 Legazpi City police officers led by city police chief P/Supt. Eymard Gomez. He was succeeded by former Legazpi police chief Supt Nilo Berdin on Saturday.

According to documents obtained, six policemen led by PO3 Vinas reportedly arrested, around 9 in the evening on Oct. 31, three suspected (3) theft personalities at Barangay Pigcale, Legazpi City, and were brought to the Legazpi PNP Station. They were identified as Ralph Estipona, 24, Michael Obogne, 29, and one Weng Briones of neighboring Barangay San Roque. The three were arrested while on a drinking session.

On November 2 (All Souls Day) at around 3 in the afternoon, however, Estipona personally showed up and reported to Barangay Pigcale officials whom he narrated the ordeal they suffered in the hands of six Legazpi policemen the night on November 1. He said he and Obogne were ordered returned to jail despite having been declared officially release from police custody at 2:25 in the afternoon of Nov. 1 due to the complainant failure to file a complaint.

In his barangay blotter report, Estipona said he and Obogne were boarded inside a black van with police officials the night on Nov. 1, while their companion Weng Briones was in another car of black color, saying they were handcuffed with tapes on their mouths.

 Estipona said that, after passing Barangay Rawis on the way to Sto. Domingo town, the police told them to reveal names of thieves and robbers in their barangay, until he noticed the car maneuvered to the left, unlighted, curb road where they were pushed outside the vehicle and shot by the police, hitting Obogne who was able to run fast with him.

But, Legazpi Police was surprised when a woman identified as Edelyn Seveliano, claiming to be a wife of Michael Obogne, dropped by at the Police Station at 6 pm of Nov. 2, complaining that she saw her husband as the person in TV Patrol Bicol News Report who was found dead in a grassy location in Barangay Pintor, Polangui town. She said the tattoo in the victim’s body, shirt and jacket he’s wearing when she last seen him in jail, the dead person found was her husband.

In his two-page affidavit dated Nov. 8, P01 Ricky Bataller claimed he was the designated jailer on duty from 8 am to 8 pm daily at the Legazpi Police Station.

Bataller said that when he reported on November 1, he was informed about the new arrested inmates, Estipona and Obogne following a complaint of theft. Bataller’s affidavit did not mention about the 3rd arrested person named Weng Briones who, according to information, was among the arrested at Barangay Pigcale, however, covered with a warrant of arrest.

Bataller said Estipona and Obogne were subjected to interrogation by P02 Josef Balderama and P01 Roland Paul Arimado at 10 am, and was returned back to their cell at 11 am.

According to Battaler, in the afternoon of November 1, SPO3 Julios Romano told him to see Police Chief Inspector Baltazar Valenzuela, the head of the investigation and intelligence section, regarding the release of Estipona and Obogne. He said PCI Valenzuela confirmed to him the instruction to release Estipona and Obogne at 2:25 pm which is the end of the 18 hours reglementary period for failure of the complainant to file a case.

Bataller’s affidavit said that, at 2:25 pm on Nov. 1, he had Estipona and Obogne released from the PNP custody, as reflected in the logbook, free from any harm and with the suspects’ signatures. But, the two suspects, according to Bataller, were returned back to jail upon instruction from PCI Valenzuela allegedly for further investigation.

He said, at 5 pm, Investigation head Valenzuela ordered him to bring Estipona and Obogne upstairs of the Legazpi Police Office where he turned over the inmates to P02 Angelo Josef Balderama, who was waiting with P02 Mark Thom Semeniano.

Balderama and Semeniano are both investigation and intelligence operatives. [BicolToday.com]

Posted by on November 18, 2017. Filed under Bicol News,Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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