The investigation by the Commission on Human Rights into the fatal shooting of a Lupon Tagapamayapa member allegedly by troopers of the Special Action Force that was reported by the police as an encounter in Brgy. Laga-an, Calatrava, Negros Occidental, is being hampered by lack of witnesses.
“We need to have someone credible to tell us what really happened”,| CHR provincial chief Romeo Baldevarona said yesterday.
Barangay Laga-an Lupon member Bolbit Leyte succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds in what the police reported as an encounter two weeks ago in the place, that is about 80 kilometers from the town proper.
A .38 caliber revolver with three dud bullets, two live ammunition and a flashlight were recovered at the scene of incident.
Senior Supt. Rodolfo Castil, Negros Occidental provincial police director, maintained that it was an encounter, and that the combined troopers of SAF and provincial mobile force were fired upon by Leyte first.
Baldevarona said they are still determining if the incident was an “encounter, an overkill or a case of mistaken identity.”
The CHR has started its probe of the incident. But Baldevarona said they have only been able to secure the police report at the Calatrava Police Station, so far.
He said they were not able go to the area of the incident for an ocular inspection, as it was already late in the afternoon, and proceeding to the area could be dangerous.
Baldevarona called on the family of the victim to visit the CHR office in Bacolod City, as they want to get their side of the incident.
The Leonardo Panaligan Command of the New People’s Army slammed the PNP for the alleged cover-up of the incident.
Baldevarona said he received reports that the National Police Commission is also conducting a probe on the incident.*GPB
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