NBI asked to probe cops in Benguet slay
BAGUIO CITY — The National Bureau of Investigation has been asked to look into the alleged involvement of two policemen in the abduction and beheading of a Baguio resident, city officials said on Monday.
The identities of the policemen tagged in the killing of Harjan Lagman, 25, had not yet been released but they were confirmed to be members of the drug enforcement unit of the Cordillera regional police office, said Police Col. Allen Rae Co, Baguio police director.
The case has forced the regional police office to disband its drug enforcement unit and transfer its members to another unit.“This singular event brought down the morale of the whole police force of Cordillera,” said its director, Police Brig. Gen. R’Win Pagkalinawan.
“But it is worth noting that it was we, ourselves, who investigated, identified and be the ones to file the case against the perpetrators, notwithstanding the fact that they are our brothers in arms,” he said.
Earning family’s trust
On Nov. 11, Lagman, a resident of Barangay Irisan here, was reported missing by his family. The next day, his headless body was found in a ravine at Sitio Gulon in Barangay Ambassador in Tublay town, Benguet. He was identified by his relatives through his clothes, scar, and build. His head had yet to be found.
A group of men handcuffed Lagman while he was being dragged into a van on Nov. 11 as shown in footage from security cameras in Irisan. The legal and investigation divisions of the Baguio police have been coordinating with the NBI in the investigation of the case, Co said.
“We feel it will be very hard for the family (of Lagman) to trust us since our fellow officers may be involved,” he told the Inquirer. According to him, his office voluntarily inhibited itself from the case “to pave the way for an impartial investigation.”
“This is in the hope that this will dispel any suspicion or doubts on the integrity of the investigation and of allegations of any possible cover-up,” Co said.
The two suspects remained in the custody of the police regional camp in La Trinidad town in Benguet. INQ
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