3 cops sued over boy's death in Cebu anti-drug op

By Luel Galarpe

September 3, 2018, 3:02 pm

CEBU CITY -- The National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) has filed charges against three officers of the Carbon Police Station 5, in connection with the accidental killing of a four-year-old boy during an anti-drugs operation in Barangay Ermita here in June.

NBI-7 officer-in-charge Director Dominador Cimafranca on Monday said they filed the administrative and criminal cases against the policemen before the Office of the Ombudsman last August 28.

Carbon police chief Senior Insp. John Kareen Escober, Police Officers 1 Wilbert Perez and Rey Van Dadula are now facing several charges for the death of Bladen Skyler Abatayo.

Escober is facing charges of falsification by public officer under Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code, dereliction of duty, obstruction of justice, and grave misconduct, while cases of dereliction of duty and grave misconduct were filed against Dadula.

On the other hand, Perez, who was allegedly responsible for the child’s death, is facing charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and grave misconduct.

Based on the nine-page complaint filed before the Ombudsman, the Carbon Police Station reportedly falsified reports to cover up for Perez’s accidental shooting of Abatayo.

The complaint also said based on witnesses’ accounts and crime scene reconstruction, the bullet that pierced the boy’s lungs came from Perez’s service firearm.

Perez reportedly slipped down the stairs during the operation and accidentally fired his gun, hitting Abatayo who was inside the room of their house at the time.

The anti-drug operation was conducted last June 10 in an abandoned house near the Abatayo residence in Sitio Bato, Barangay Ermita.

The NBI-7 also said its investigation of the case was hampered by delays in the release of documents and physical evidence by the Carbon Police Station.

The Carbon Police also did not coordinate with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and with Barangay Ermita during the conduct of the operation, the complaint added. (PNA)