Kin of man killed by HPG cops goes to NBI for help
SAYING his younger brother, John dela Riarte, was murdered, Robert dela Riarte on Monday asked the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a probe.
John, a motorcycle rider, was shot dead by Highway Patrol Group (HPG) personnel who arrested him last week after he figured in a traffic altercation with another motorist, Eric Fajardo. John was handcuffed and taken to the HPG headquarters but was shot and killed along the way after he allegedly grabbed the gun of PO2 Jojie Manog-on.
According to Robert, the HPG declined to conduct an investigation into his brother’s death. “A certain Inspector Abasco even warned us not to bring this case before the media, saying we will only bring shame on ourselves,” he said.
He raised several questions arising from his brother’s death such as the policemen’s claim that his brother was a drug addict.
“Abasco said my brother was a drug addict because he had big eyes. What kind of statement was that? My brother’s eyes were really big and round and that made him a drug addict?” Robert said.
“How did he manage to grab a policeman’s gun?” Robert said, pointing to video footage showing that his brother’s hands were cuffed behind him.
For special investigator Anna Labao of the NBI-Death Investigation Division, the policemen have a lot of explaining to do.
“You can’t just say it was a shootout. You can’t just say someone is a drug user. What’s your proof? They did not even subject him to a drug test or autopsy,” Labao said.
According to her, the claim of a shootout should be investigated by the HPG policemen’s superiors. “How can you reach that conclusion? In a way, you are biased. You will accept that in toto? There should be an investigation,” she added.
“To prove he’s clean, we asked the NBI to examine my brother’s body,” Robert said, adding that witnesses had told him his brother was also manhandled by the policemen.
“We can pay for the car damages. Did they really have to kill my brother?” he added.
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