MANILA, Philippines Ten police officers linked to the death of a 16-year-old boy and his entourage in an anti-drug operation in Laguna are now under limited custody as an investigation into the incident begins, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Saturday. .
PNP chief General Guillermo Elezar said he had already instructed Police Director Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) Brig. General Eliseo Cruz and the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) to complete the investigation as soon as possible.
“In the meantime, I urge our kababayan to let the investigations take their course,” he said in a statement.
The PNP said Cruz had also headed the Regional Detective Investigation and Management Division to lead the fact-finding task force on the incident.
According to the PNP, all police officers involved in the operations underwent a paraffin test while a ballistic test was performed on their weapons. The bodies of Maglinte and Dali were also autopsied and subjected to a paraffin test.
The officers were placed under the restrictive custody of the Regional Police Office 4A.
Police operatives earlier claimed that 16-year-old Johndy Maglinte and Antonio Castillo Dali, the target of the operation and included in the most wanted 10 Lagunas, fought against while police officers were suffering an arrest warrant in Dali on Wednesday.
However, relatives of both said that Dalit was killed first and since Maglinte was a witness to the event, he too was shot after being handcuffed and lying face down on the ground.
Eleazar asked the families of both to tell investigators what they know and witnesses to give statements. He provided protection for the witnesses who would appear.
According to the PNP, the IAS was tasked with investigating the incident to determine whether the operational team was following closely the police operating procedures.
The PNP said investigators from the IAS Provincial Lagoon and the IAS Regional Calabarzon spoke in person with relatives of Maglinte and Dali on Friday to obtain their complaint statements but they said they were not willing to give statements.
Meanwhile, Eleazar welcomed the independent investigation being conducted by the Human Rights Commission (CHR) into the incident. He assured that PNP will cooperate with CHR.
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