Balamban man dies on way to drug rehab center | Inquirer News
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Balamban man dies on way to drug rehab center

The death of a 42-year-old man from Balamban town who was reportedly being taken to a drug rehabilitation center on New Year’s Eve is being investigated.

Jerome Bendebel was being escorted from his home to a private center in Cebu City.

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Homicide police in Cebu City learned about the death after a private hospital in the city called them up at 3 a.m. of January 1 to report it.

Bendebel, a resident of barangay Tunga, was already dead when he was taken to the Perpetual Succour Hospital where staff noticed that Bendebel’s arms showed bruises.

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Police said a man who accompanied Bendebel to the hospital, and identified himself as his brother, said Bendebel earlier became unruly and poked his companion in the eye.

“Nag-wild kuno to siya, manuslok sa mata, tingali ug nadapatan (He reportedly went wild and poked someone in the eye. That’s why he was beaten up),” said SPO1 Ruth Violango.

A doctor told investigators that Bendebel had a blood clot in his brain which may have caused his death.

An autopsy was conducted but results have yet to be released.

SPO1 Violango, homicide investigator, said the hospital management called them up past 3 a.m. of January 1 because Bendebel’s arms had suspicious bruises.

Since the incident happened in Balamban town, Violango turned over the case to Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) for investigation.

Bendebel was allegedly accompanied by personnel of a private rehabilitation center in Lahug, Cebu City on board a Gray Pajero with plate number YEG 160, said Violango.

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Chief Insp. Richard Oliver, Balamban police chief, said in a televised interview that Bendebel’s relatives and staff of the rehabilitation center went to the police station on New Year’s Eve requesting for a police escort to the rehabilitation center.

The police officer did not approve the request because there was no attached court order.

The Commission on Human Rights in Central Visayas (CHR-7) yesterday said it is willing to conduct an investigation.

CHR-7 Chief Investigator Primo Cadampog said an inquiry may be initiated even without a complainant, although it would be better if Bendebel’s relatives filed one.

Cadampog learned about the incident from news reports and called the Balamban police for details . He was told by the police chief no spot report was made about the incident although the police station knew that Bendebel was picked up in Balamban town by personnel of a private rehabilitation center.

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