I can’t get justice from PNP: Solon wants NBI to probe Calbayog mayor slay
MANILA, Philippines — Samar 1st District Rep. Edgar Sarmiento is calling on the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to have an “impartial investigation” into the killing of Calbayog City mayor Ronald Aquino, saying he “cannot get justice from the Philippine National Police (PNP).”
Sarmiento, a friend of Aquino, insisted that the mayor’s death was not a case of a shootout, but rather an ambush.
“Ako’y nasasaktan na pinapalabas na shootout na naman, at doon sa ground zero, maliwanag na maliwanag ang sinasabi ng mga witnesses na talagang binaril muna ang sasakyan ni mayor,” Sarmiento said in an interview with DzMM’s Teleradyo.
(I am hurt what they want to imply that there was a shootout, at the ground zero, it was clear what the witnesses were saying that the mayor’s vehicle was shot first.)
“Doon naman sa nag-ambush, masakit sabihin kaya lang naka-uniporme ito. Mga miyembro pa ng Philippine National Police. Ako’y nagtataka, bakit naka-bonnet at naka-M-203 pa. Talagang handang handa,” the lawmaker added.
(To those who perpetrated the ambuscade, it is painful to say but they are in uniform. Members of the Philippine National Police to be exact. I am wondering, why are they wearing bonnet and even brandishing M-203 [grenade launcher firearms]. They are really prepared [for this].)
Sarmiento said he has already drafted a letter to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra asking for the NBI to have a separate “impartial investigation” regarding the case.
“Ang pakiusap ko kay Presidente, ako nama’y tumutulong sa bayan, Mr. President. Humihingi ako ng tulong, I cannot get justice from the Philippine National Police, I believe so,” Sarmiento said.
(I am asking the President [Rodrigo Duterte], I am just helping our country, Mr. President. I am asking for help, I cannot get justice from the Philippine National Police, I believe so.)
“That’s why I already drafted a letter to Secretary Guevarra of the National Bureau of Investigation. I just talked to [NBI Director] Ferdinand Lavin para naman humingi muna ng impartial investigation pati na sana autopsy kasi hanggang ngayon hindi pa ngayon na-autopsy ang bangkay ni mayor [to ask for help for an impartial investigation and also for an autopsy because until now there was no autopsy on the body of the mayor],” he added.
Politics as motive?
Asked what he believes is the motive behind Aquino’s death, Sarmiento said politics could be a reason.
Sarmiento said the past two mayors of Calbayog City—Aquino and Mayor Reynaldo Uy—were both killed in an ambush.
“Ayoko mang banggitin pero [I don’t want to say this but] it all boils down to politics. The reason why Samar belongs to the top 12 poorest provinces in this land,” Sarmiento said.
Sarmiento also denied Aquino’s links to illegal drugs.
Meanwhile, the PNP-Police Regional Office 8 has announced that a task group has been formed to investigate Aquino’s death.
“Gathering of further details from the testimonies of PNP personnel involved and witnesses is now being facilitated,” the PRO8 said.
INQUIRER.net has reached out to the PNP for a comment regarding Sarmiento’s remarks but has yet to receive a reply as of posting time.
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