CHR to probe foreign stude’s mauling caseBy Carine M. Asutilla
Cebu Daily News
The Commission on Human Rights in Central Visayas (CHR-7) will investigate reports of a foreign student from Papua New Guinea who was allegedly mauled by members of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT)-Cebu City.
A news team from ABS-CBN witnessed the incident which happened around 9 a.m. yesterday in barangay Banilad, Cebu City.
The foreigner was identified as Bennedict Penini, a 29-year-old Information Technology student of a Cebu City university.
SWAT members rushed to Banilad after receiving a report that a man who was later identified as Penini was creating trouble.
Police chanced upon Penini looking for his compatriots who allegedly mauled him while they were having a drinking session.
SWAT members tried to calm down Penini but the foreigner ignored them.
Penini continued looking for his compatriots but when he failed to find them, he picked up a stone and used it to hit the face of taxi driver Giovanni Catib who was in the area watching the commotion.
It was then that the SWAT members subdued the foreigner.
One of the SWAT members struck Penini with the handle of an M-16 armalite. Some policemen kicked the foreigner while he was on the ground.
The taxi driver also tried to attack Penini but he was prevented by the police.
Police handcuffed Penini and brought him to the Mabolo police station. He was later moved to the Tourist Police near Cebu City Hall.
The taxi driver said he will file charges against Penini.
PO1 Philip James Tanza, a SWAT member, said they were forced to subdue the foreigner since he was strong and resisted arrest.
At the police station, Penini tried to attack two of his friends who went with the police to help in the investigation.
“They beat me. Those were my countrymen. I am innocent,” Penini said.
Residents in the area said Penini would create trouble in the place whenever he gets drunk.
Primo Dumampog, chief investigator of CHR-7, said they will review the video footage of the ABS-CBN news team to determine if the police violated human rights in arresting Penini.
Dumampog said Penini can file a complaint with their office against the people who mauled him.