NBI tells camera operator: Show up, tell your story
WHERE is Jeffrey Aquino?
That’s what the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) wants to know as it invited the security camera operator to tell his account of the death of shopper Mario Alfie Ducayag.
“He was eager at first (to cooperate in our investigation). I don’t know what happened to Aquino. I hope he will come forward and make good on his word,” NBI-7 Agent Bernard dela Cruz told reporters yesterday.
Aquino’s lawyer Salvador Solima said he has not seen nor communicated with his client since he was arrested last week then released the next day by police. Solima urged Aquino to cooperate with the NBI in its investigation on Ducayag’s death.
“I’m calling on Aquino to heed the NBI’s request for him to come out and tell the truth. See what has happened now. Aquino has been pointed to as the one who killed Ducayag,” the lawyer said.
Solima asked the family to convince Aquino to appear before the NBI.
Cebu Daily News tried to contact Aquino by phone but he didn’t answer the calls. A text message sent to him was also left unanswered.
The 31-year-old employee of Gaisano Metro Colon was accused by two store security officers as the one who mauled Ducayag for failing to produce a receipt for a pair of sandals in his possession.
In a previous interview, Aquino accused the department store’s chief security officer Mauricio Doblados of killing the suspected shoplifter.
Regardless of the testimonies of those who had custody of Ducayag, dela Cruz said they have other evidence to prove what really transpired inside the security office of Gaisano Metro Colon where Ducayag was mauled last April 12.
Dela Cruz said he’s about to finish the investigation and that charges will be filed this week against those responsible for Ducayag’s death.
“We’re almost done. But I won’t say who the respondent/s will be. We will file the case based on evidence on hand which includes the CCTV footage, accounts of witnesses and the time element involved here,” he said.
While there were a handful of persons inside the security office when Ducayag was mauled, dela Cruz said the NBI needed clear evidence.
“We can’t do a shotgun filing of cases just because they were there. If you didn’t participate in the crime, you should be protected. We have a law against malicious prosecution. We will file the case based on evidence,” he said.
Aquino, the security camera operator, in an earlier interview said he handcuffed the shopper on orders of Doblados and later saw how the young man was allegedly beaten up by the security officer.
He said the victim was punched three times on the chest until he was unconscious and then whipped with an electrical cable.
Aquino was by the Cebu City police last April 28 but was released a day after due to the refusal of Ducayag’s family to file charges against him as they believed the police case was weak.
Ducayag’s family, who earlier tapped the NBI’s assistance, were wary of the police’s autopsy report that said the shopper died of “asphyxia due to pulmonary tuberculosis”, which was later disputed by the NBI autopsy. /Ador Vincent Mayol, Reporter
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