Family says suspected robber killed by cop was tortured
The Parañaque City police on Friday said they killed a suspect in a recent spate of robberies victimizing commuters, including one incident which a jeepney driver had managed to record on video and posted on YouTube.
But the family of Antonio Vinculado Jr. doubted the police statement that he was killed in a shootout, saying he was actually arrested earlier this month.
They also noted signs of torture upon seeing his bullet-riddled body under a bridge, the supposed site of the shootout.
According to Senior Insp. Jerry Sunga, investigation section chief of the Parañaque police, the 32-year-old Vinculado opened fire on members of Police Community Precinct 4 (PCP4) who were responding to a holdup on Ninoy Aquino Avenue around 1 a.m. on Friday.
The suspect allegedly held a woman at gunpoint as she was waiting for a ride, grabbed her shoulder bag and ran toward Kaybuboy Bridge in Barangay San Dionisio, near the barangay hall, the city police headquarters, and the suspect’s own home.
Alerted by the victim, officers from PCP4 had the suspect cornered under the bridge, Sunga said. After being gunned down, Vinculado was found carrying a loaded .22-caliber revolver and a sachet of “shabu,” the official added.
Barangay San Dionisio chair Eduardo Mijares described Vinculado as part of a “notorious” group preying on jeepney passengers in the city.
They usually took advantage of the heavy traffic particularly on Sucat Road, he said.
Mijares said Vinculado was one of the three suspects in the June 22 jeepney robbery near Kaybuboy Bridge, an incident recorded on video by the driver and uploaded on YouTube.
But Vinculado’s father Antonio Sr. alleged that his son, who he said earned a living as a construction worker, was just “set up” by the police.
Quoting witnesses, he said Antonio Jr. was last seen being taken by men in a police patrol car on July 2 and had since been “missing.”
The elder Vinculado also noted bruises on his dead son’s face and body, which he took as signs of torture.
As to the packet of shabu that Antonio Jr. supposedly carried, the father said “he doesn’t even smoke.”
When told of the allegations of torture, Sunga maintained that the suspect sustained bruises after falling from the steps of Kaybuboy Bridge when being chased by the police.
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