The Department of Justice (DOJ) has been asked to prosecute for three counts of murder the 11 policemen who were allegedly involved in the extrajudicial killing of a rent-a-car driver and two others last year in Oas, Albay.
In a 211-page complaint, the National Bureau of Investigation rejected the claim of the policemen that the victims Jose Maria Arvin Samson Bautista, 28-year-old rent a car driver; Ramon Mutuc, 44, and Gregorio Garcia Jr., 42, were killed during an alleged anti-illegal drug buy-bust operation on July 20, 2021.
The NBI named the respondents as Oas Municipal Police Station chief Police Major Jerald John Villafuerte, Police Major Ray Anthony Villanueva; Police Captain Raul Racho, Police Lieutenant Victor Borjal, Police Staff Sergeant Mark Anthony Reblora, Police Master Sergeant Nestor Salire Jr., .Patrolman Geoffrey Avila y Vargas, Police Staff Master Sergeant Romeo .Raro Jr; Police Chief Master Sergeant Marvin Boral y Reoveros, .Police Staff Sergeant Henry Ballon, and Police Staff Sergeant Mark Jay Sevilla.
The policemen earlier claimed that before the shootout, one of the suspects was caught selling 10 grams of shabu with P40,000 to an undercover agent.
But when the suspect realized that he was dealing with police operatives he immediately drew his firearm and fired at the police poseur buyer. The police said the group then engaged the police agents in a shootout which resulted in their death.
Police authorities said some P1.75 million worth of shabu was found in their possession.
However, based on the NBI’s investigation the victims did not engage the policemen in a shootout as they were found negative for powder burns during paraffin tests.
In its complaint, the NBI noted that the guns allegedly recovered in the victims’ possession were planted to make it appear that there was a shootout.
The NBI investigators also said the victims were apparently shot at close range based on the trajectory of the bullets.
The autopsy report also showed wounds on the wrists of the victims, indicating that their hands were tied or handcuffed before they were killed.
The NBI conducted the investigation on the incident after Bautista’s family sought its assistance, insisting that the victim was involved in illegal drug trade. The victim’s family also insisted that he has no criminal records, particularly in illegal drugs.
Evelyn Bautista, mother of Jose, told the NBI that her son was the driver of Suzuki Ertiga with plate number NEK-1508 that was rented by Mutuc and Garcia who were bound for Quezon province last July 19, 2021.
The following day, the Bautistas received a call from a policeman from Oas, Albay that his son was killed in a buy-bust operation.