THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Thursday filed two counts of murder case against 16 police officers who were allegedly involved in killing two members of the Ozamiz Gang on July 15.
NBI reports said the officers implicated to the killings “staged the supposed ambush incident and escape attempt” of victims Ricky Cadavero and Wilfredo Panagolinga.
“Video footage showing both victims having their hand handcuffed from behind also cast doubts on the claim that either of them tried to grab the firearms of their custodians,” the NBI said.
Charged were Supt. Danilo Mendoza, S/Insp. Fernando Cardona, S/Insp. Manuel Magat, Insp. Efren Oco, SPO1 Jason Semacas, SPO1 Joseph Ortega, SP01 Genaro De Gala, PO3 Marvin Mejia, PO3 Ramil Gonzales, PO3 Sherwin Bulan, PO3 Gerardo Tugot, PO2 Eduardo Cruz, PO2 Kristofferson Reyes, PO2 Exiel Reyes and PO2 Conrado Bautista Jr.
PO3 Gerardo Tugot’s testimony, one of the police escorts, was the basis of filing the case.
In his testimony, Tugot said that there was no reported commotion before the shooting and that Magat had instructed him to fire more or less five shots at vehicle’s windshield and more or less three shots at the front right tire to make it appear that an ambush occurred and to support their claim that Cadavero and Panogalinga attempted to escape.
NBI said the physical evidence, including medico-legal findings, chemistry reports and analysis of bullet trajectories, contradicts the police escorts’ version of the incident.
It was learned that Cadavero was previously arrested by the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) 4-A of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Dasmarinas, Cavity on July 12, 2013.
Cadavero, who was facing a robbery and frustrated murdered case, and Panogalinga escaped from the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) on December 8, 2013. They were killed while being transported back to Camp Vicente Lim in Calamba Laguna after the inquest pro-ceedings.