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Police welcome NBI parallel probe into Pasay concert deaths

/ 06:03 PM May 24, 2016

THE National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) welcomes the parallel investigation being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) into the death of five concertgoers in Pasay City last Sunday.

In a statement to media on Tuesday, the NCRPO said inputs from the NBI would help them to come up with “correct and factual” information on the case.

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The fatalities were Ariel Leal, 22; Lance Garcia, 36; Bianca Fontejon, 18; Ken Migawa, 18, and American national Eric Anthony Miller, 33.

The victims, who did not appear to know each other, collapsed during the “CloseUp Forever Summer” outdoor concert held at the SM Mall of Asia grounds on Saturday night. They were found in different areas of the venue and taken to the hospital where they passed away the following day.

The Southern Police District, which is under the supervision of NCRPO, has formed a special investigation task group to look into the incident

SPD head Chief Supt. Henry Rañola Jr. is leading the investigation with representatives from Criminal Investigation and Detection Group National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR) and Pasay City Police.

Garcia and Fontejon were autopsied by the NBI. Dr. Wilfredo Esquivel Tierra of the bureau’s medico-legal found that the two died of a heart attack.

As for the PNP’s investigation, spokesperson Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor said in a press briefing on Tuesday that the police have brought Migawa to the PNP Crime Laboratory for autopsy and toxicology test.

In a separate interview, Pasay City Police chief Senior Supt. Joel Doria said they would request the members of Miller’s family who have arrived in Manila from Malaysia to allow them to conduct an autopsy and a toxicology test on the American.

Meanwhile, Leal’s family has submitted a waiver asking the police not to investigate his death.

Mayor said the PNP respects the request of the aggrieved family.

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“Pwede naman natin hanapan ng ibang paraan, tulad ng mga willing magpa-examine. Siguro dito na lang tayo mag-concentrate,” he said.

Asked if the police would consider filing an obstruction of justice case against those who waived the investigation, Mayor said: “We always respect their culture, traditions, emotional situation of the family of the victim rather than insisting (on subjecting the victim to investigation).”

On Monday, NBI agents scoured the concert venue to collect items for the investigation. They found inhalers, liquor bottles and a blister pack of Trimetazidine, a prescription medication for heart disease. AC

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