A new twist developed in the investigation into the violent death of 23-year-old shopper Mario Alfie Ducayag as a witness recanted her earlier statement.
The female guard of Gaisano Metro Colon who first said she apprehended Ducayag recanted her statements before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Margie Gaser said Ducayag was not arrested as he was about to leave the department store last April 12, as her earlier testimony revealed. Instead, she said, Ducayag was arrested by security guards when he returned to a cashier counter to look for the receipt of a pair of sandals he bought.
“Gaser said she was instructed by chief security officer Mauricio Doblados Jr. and security guard Melvin Boyles to tell any investigator that she apprehended Ducayag while he was headed out of the mall and was stopped for failure to show a receipt,” NBI Agent Bernard dela Cruz told Cebu Daily News.
Gaser admitted that her earlier statement about Ducayag’s arrest was “fabricated.”
Cerwin Eviota, spokesman of Metro Gaisano, reiterated the willingness of the department store to cooperate with the investigation done by law enforcers.
“ We urge the NBI and the police to dig further into the case to get a full picture of the whole incident and bring those responsible to justice, and clear the names of those who had nothing to do with the incident. We rely on the competence of our authorities to find the truth.”
Eviota said there may be “lapses” on the part of the department store’s security force but said they are ready to address it.
“We’re reviewing procedures to make sure this won’t happen again,” he said.
A case conference between the NBI and the police is scheduled today.
Based on her statements to dela Cruz, Gaser said it was Ducayag who y went to counter 7 of Metro Gaisano-Colon to look for the receipt of the pair of sandals he purportedly purchased.
Aside from the sandals, Ducayag also bought infant milk formula and other food items.
Since Ducayag could not explain why he didn’t have any receipt for the sandals, dela Cruz said mall supervisor Juvelyn Magdadaro instead called the assistance of the security guards who acted as store detectives.
The store detectives brought Ducayag to the store’s investigation room where he was allegedly mauled to death.
“Malayo-layo pa tayo. Now, Doblados, Boyles, and Jeffrey Aquino have been pointing fingers at each other as to who actually mauled the victim. We will ask all of them to appear before the NBI,” he said.
Cesar Lerio, another security guard of the department store is also being investigated. /Ador Vincent Mayol, Reporter