Man killed in QC may not be Cebu drug lord–PNP
CEBU CITY — The man who was shot dead in Quezon City on April 18 may not be confessed Cebu drug lord, Franz Sabalones.
The police raised this possibility after the fingerprints of the man did not match those on the voter’s identification of Sabalones at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in his hometown San Fernando in Cebu province.
Police Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, Central Visayas police director, said that since the fingerprints didn’t match, it would cast a doubt on the identity of the man who was earlier believed to be Sabalones.
He said they had to positively identify the victim to “erase doubts on the mind of the public” on who exactly was the man killed in Quezon City on Maundy Thursday.
“I’m not saying that he is alive,” Sinas said. “We were just trying to find ways to identify (the victim) scientifically.”
Several identification cards were recovered from the man after he was shot and killed in Quezon City. The cards had different names but had the same photo which resembled Sabalones.
The Quezon City police earlier said Sabalones used different names to evade authorities.
A staff of the funeral parlor where the body was taken told the police that a man claiming to be a cousin had identified the fatality as the drug lord who had once surrendered to then Philippine National Police chief and now Senator-elect Ronald dela Rosa.
But the cousin did not take the body, which was still at the funeral parlor, more than a month since the killing.
Sinas said they sent a formal request to the Comelec three weeks ago to ask for Sabalones’ fingerprint data to match these with those taken from the man in Quezon City.
The report, however, showed a mismatch.
Sinas said the police would check with the Comelec first if the fingerprint data in Comelec-San Fernando really belonged to Sabalones.
Sabalones had no fingerprint record in the police since he was never arrested. He, however, had a pending arrest warrant after firearms were recovered from his house in San Fernando following a raid.
Sinas said the best way to prove the identity of the man was through deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing or getting the DNA samples of Sabalones’ relatives and matching these with those taken from the man.
“We are exerting all efforts to secure DNA samples. The problem is Sabalones’ direct families can no longer be found in San Fernando,” Sinas said.
Sabalones’ brother, Fralz, is the incumbent San Fernando vice mayor but he had not been reporting in his office since March after filing a leave of absence until June 30, when his term would end.
Fralz, who did not seek reelection, had been identified by President Duterte as a narcopolitician who “protected his brother’s illegal activities while in office.”
Sinas said the police had been waiting for relatives to claim the body of the man from the funeral parlor in Quezon City. “We are still waiting but maybe they are afraid to show up and we don’t blame them,” he said.
Sinas urged the family to claim the body otherwise the Quezon City government would be forced to bury it 60 days after he was killed. “Under the law … the body would be buried if no one would claim it … for health reason,” Sinas said.
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