Criminal, misconduct complaints filed vs 21 Masbate cops over fellow lawman’s death
LEGAZPI CITY — Criminal and administrative complaints were filed against the 21 policemen from the 503rd Maneuver Company of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) in Masbate province on Thursday in connection with the death of Patrolman Jaypee Ramores due to alleged hazing.
Two officials and 19 noncommissioned officers of the unit were accused of violating Republic Act No. 11053, or the Anti-Hazing Act, according to the Bicol regional police, which filed the complaints in the Masbate provincial prosecutors office.
Maj. Maria Luisa Calubaquib, spokesperson for the Bicol police, said in a statement that the administrative complaint for grave misconduct was also filed by the Regional Internal Affairs Service against the suspects.
Relieved from posts
The 21 policemen were earlier relieved from their posts and were placed under the custody of RMFB at Camp Simeon Ola in this city.
Ramores, 32, of Talisay town in Camarines Norte province, died while being treated at the Ticao District Hospital in San Jacinto town in Masbate on July 26. He had severe bruises, burns on his chest, wounds on his feet and knees, and other body injuries.
The autopsy conducted by the hospital on July 28 revealed the victim died due to cardiorespiratory arrest, deep vein thrombosis secondary to pulmonary embolism and multiple physical injuries secondary to blunt trauma. But the 503rd Maneuver Company reported that Ramores died of cardiorespiratory arrest, and urine and blood infection with severe high blood pressure.
An initial investigation revealed that on July 22, Ramores was also hospitalized after he collapsed while performing a road run around the town. He was discharged from the hospital at around 5 p.m. on the same day.
Calubaquib urged other personnel who have been subjected to similar “derogative and offensive” practices to speak up “not only to serve justice to the victims but also to end these [initiation rites].”
The Bicol police ordered all its stations to fly the Philippine national flag at half-mast to mourn Ramores’ death.
In Catanduanes province, policemen gathered at Camp Francisco Camacho in Virac town on Friday morning to pay tribute to their fallen comrade. They wore black armbands and face masks, which would be used until the internment of Ramores on August 6. According to Calubaquib, the Bicol police would continue to “uncover the truth behind [Ramores’] death and penalize those who are culpable of the incident.”
Ramores’ relatives were not immediately available for comment on the filing of charges against the 21 policemen, but they earlier asked the Bicol police to hold liable those involved in his death.
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