Cops in alleged mauling video sued
CEBU, Philippines — Eight police officers of the Talamban Police Station in Cebu City are facing charges before the Office of the Cebu City Prosecutor over alleged “police brutality.”
Noel Lucanas, Aldrin Nalzaro, and three others filed charges of torture, grave threats, and serious physical injuries against policemen Reoven Carmelo Rota, Vernie Magdali, Brendro Tudtud, a certain Tagalog, Lagunsad, Adalim, and two unidentified at 3:16 p.m. yesterday.
The complainants said they were with Eddie Basillote, the man mauled by the cops, which was caught on video that went viral online.
Lucanas and Nalzaro said they were inside a Pinball machine shop located on the ground floor of a two-story building in Ponce II, Barangay Carreta on April 18, 2019 when they heard a loud banging on the door.
The next thing they knew, six men with firearms barged into the shop and identified themselves as policemen. The men, however, were not in uniform. They reportedly did not show any search warrant or any document to support the operation.
The complainants said one of the six approached Basillote and hit him on the face. He also hit Lucanas on the back, which forced the latter to kneel on the ground.
Lucanas and Nalzaro said the men dragged them to the back portion of the room where they were hit continuously.
They also reportedly saw Basillote getting hit repeatedly and heard him asking the suspects why they were hitting them.
The men would arrest Basillote later for possession and sale of shabu. Yesterday, the court recommended bail of P200,000 for his temporary liberty.
The complainants said they were able to identify three of the men through the footage from the closed circuit television camera.
The incident traumatized them, they claimed.
“We were hurt not only physically; also, the attack traumatized us. We are very scared to go out of our houses now and we cannot mingle with the community without being paranoid and weary of our surroundings,” their affidavit reads.
Garma to sue
At the Cebu City Police Office, Director Royina Garma said she will also file charges against Basillote’s common-law wife for accusing her of threatening their family.
Speaking to reporters last weekend, the wife said Basillote told her that Garma has threatened to have them killed should they pursue filing charges and not take the video down.
Garma has said she will not put her reputation on the line for a small fish like Basillote and challenged the wife to prove her allegations.
“Siguraduhin niya allegation niya because we will file a case against her…I’m thinking of cyberlibel but I will be reviewing the Revised Penal Code…gusto ko airtight (She better be sure of her allegations because we will file a case against her… I’m thinking of cyberlibel but I will review the Revised Penal Code first… I want the case airtight),” Garma said.
Basillote’s wife said she disclosed the alleged threat on her own volition but Garma said, “You can see what is obvious and what is not obvious.”
Mayor Tomas Osmeña who is known to be critical of the city police has posted in his social media page names of alleged policemen who are involved in mauling Eddie.
Garma said the CCPO is suffering since they are being judged through the public, and the video does not even hold any evidentiary value.
“Make sure it will stand in court. It’s not just bad for us but the city my concern is the city’s image. I don’t want them to think that the city is not safe. I want them to think that it is safe for business, and travel,” she said.
She pointed out that she already dangled P200,000 for anyone who can provide her a full copy of the video but no one came forward, so far.
She said because of social media posts, the Talamban Police Station has received death threats from random callers and also via social media chats.
“They are calling, they are harassing station 8… may death threats ang tatlo naming police from random callers, and even Facebook account ng station, sunog na operatiba namin. Nakita mo effect? Wala pa gani due process. Sino ang nag post? Pumunta sa akin. Let’s make that information evidence,” she said. (FREEMAN)