MANILA – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Anti-Organized and Transnational Crime Division – Death Investigation Unit (AOTCD-DIU) filed criminal charges against seven police officers from Isabela province on Tuesday.
The AOTCD-DIU levied before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday charges of murder and carnapping against SPO1 Randolph Cauan, Sr. Insp. Sherwin Concha, Insp. Rey Lopez, SPO3 Julian Obrero III, PO2 Alex Abalos, PO2 Jose Soliven II, and PO2 Eduardo Apan.
According to the complaint filed by the crime division, the policemen accosted Johnny L. Bangit, Noel Lacuata Te-od, and Gabriel Dapio Ternio on May 3 at the Aurora Public Market, Aurora, Isabela on accusations that they had stolen a motorcycle. The policemen took the victims to the Aurora, Isabela PNP Office.
The three men went missing shortly thereafter, and their corpses – with gunshot wounds to the head – were discovered on June 2 in a shallow grave in a farm in Bgy. Bagong Tanza, Aurora, Isabela.
Jeffrey U. Asuncion, the owner of the motorcycle which the police claimed was stolen by the victims, submitted a sworn statement, which the AOTCD-DIU attached to their complaint.
In the affidavit, Asuncion recounted the details surrounding the arrest of the three men. He also disclosed that he was ordered to go to Aurora Mayor William Uy’s house, where he was instructed by Uy and his administrative officer, Edna R. Salvador “not to tell anything about the arrest made by the Aurora Police Office on May 3, 2014 to the investigating officers of the [NBI], Ilagan District Office.”
Asuncion added that Uy purportedly provided him with a lawyer to “ensure that he will not tell the truth about the arrest.”
The sworn statements of the victims’ families, as well as statements from eyewitnesses, were also used to support the complaint. Relatives said that the three men were on their way to Tabuk, Kalinga to sell corn and buy a motorcycle. That was the last time they were seen alive.
Aside from charges of murder, the policemen have also been charged with stealing the motorcycles of the victims.
Bienvenido Abalos, Mayor Uy, and Salvador have been charged for obstruction of justice.