Mom of video game player sues police for son’s slay
DAGUPAN CITY — The police chief of Rosales town in Pangasinan and his men are facing murder complaints in connection with the death of 17-year-old Joshua Laxamana, a player of the popular multiplayer online video game DotA (Defense of the Ancients), in what police said was a gunfight last year.
Christine Pascual, the victim’s mother, filed the complaints at the Office of the Ombudsman-Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices (Moleo) in Quezon City against Chief Insp. John Corpuz, Rosales police chief, and his men.
Police earlier said Laxamana was killed in a gunfight with the police in Rosales on Aug. 17.
The teenager and a companion reportedly evaded a checkpoint at Balungao town in Pangasinan and fled on their motorcycle toward Rosales, where they allegedly shot it out with policemen.
Laxamana’s companion remained missing until now.
Police also linked the victim to four robbery cases in Pangasinan.
On Thursday, Corpuz said he welcomed the filing of complaints. “It’s OK with us. It’s their right,” he told the Inquirer.
He said the Philippine National Police’s internal affairs service had already cleared the involved policemen after conducting an investigation last year. “We will answer the charges they will file against our personnel,” Corpuz added.
Pascual said her son’s addiction was to DotA, adding that he would often stay overnight at computer shops in their neighborhood.
She said her son “certainly had no access to guns or drugs, and did not know how to ride a motorcycle.”
Pascual refuted police claims that her son was involved in several robberies in Pangasinan. Laxamana had certifications of clean record from the barangay and police in Tarlac province, where they lived.
Lawyer Maria Kristina Conti, Pascual’s counsel, said the case “showed how President Duterte’s war on drugs had been targeting children.”
“All killings in police operations must be investigated and prosecuted,” Conti said.
“Each incident comes with the stark admission that police committed the crime, of at least, homicide. —REPORTS FROM GABRIEL CARDINOZA AND TONETTE OREJAS