MANILA, Philippines—The slain bodyguard of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was “bitten and beaten” before he was shot, a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) official revealed on Saturday.
While an autopsy has established what caused the death of 32-year-old Alister Quintos, investigators said they also found “bizarre” bite marks on the victim’s right cheek and left arm.
Reynaldo Esmeralda, the NBI deputy director for technical services, said that based on the results of the autopsy conducted late Friday, apart from the bullet wound on the left side of the chest, he had several cuts and bruises on his face and body.
“He (Quintos) had cuts and bruises on the bridge of his nose, upper lip, nape and forearm leading the members of the team to conclude that Quintos was beaten up before he was killed,” he said.
He pointed out that while an apparent scuffle could explain the bite mark on Quintos’ left arm, it was difficult to determine why there were teeth impressions on his right cheek. “The teeth impressions were those of the upper set,” the NBI official said.
Bullet hit vital organs
It was also discovered that De Lima’s bodyguard was instantly killed by a bullet that pierced his chest, hit the upper and lower lobes of his left and right lung as well as the left ventricle of the heart before exiting through his back.
“Tattooing around the bullet entry wound indicates that he was shot at close range and the contusion collar around the exit wound shows that he was shot either with his back against a wall or lying down,” Esmeralda said.
According to Esmeralda, an inspection of the crime scene at Barrio Garlang in San Ildefonso, Bulacan, showed the killer “deliberately scattered” the victim’s personal belongings. But he stressed that an inventory of the items, to determine which belongings were missing, was still being conducted.
“The impression given by these findings is that Quintos was captured and beaten up by the suspect,” Esmeralda said, adding that the victim was 5 feet 8 inches tall and muscular and had to be subdued by the killer.
He said the NBI has formed a special task force to determine the circumstances which led to the killing.