The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) 7 questioned if the police intentionally killed the four Mandaue mall robbery suspects on October 19, 2019.
CHR 7 chief investigator Leo Villarino wants answers following reports that the arrested suspects allegedly tried to escape and fought the police on their way to the station.
The CHR central office has ordered Villarino to check if the incident was another “nanlaban” case. The term “nanlaban” became popular when the government started its war on drugs. It is when police kill a suspect who allegedly resisted, fired shots, or attacked them first.
Many human rights groups do not believe and condemn authorities who use the “nanlaban” excuse for killing a suspect.
“We want to know the circumstances of how those four suspects died in their custody,” Villarino said.
“If we look at past cases of death in custody, it’s pretty much the same scenario. The police claim that “nangilog” ang mga suspects,” he added.
Police Colonel Ildibrande Usana, deputy regional director for the administration, said the “neutralization” of the killed suspects was “legitimate” because they tried to grab the policemen’s firearms.
Mandaue mall robbery suspects handcuffed on their backs
Usana was asked how the killed robbers could manage to grab the policemen’s guns if they were handcuffed on their backs and were already loaded into the police car.
“We assume that procedures have been followed,” Usana answered.
Usana added the armed robbers don’t mind fighting and killing police authorities.
He said armed robbers, especially those belonging to organized crime groups, do not hesitate to fight and kill police officers.
Fifteen armed men robbed a J Centre Mall in Mandaue, Cebu, on Saturday night. Authorities said the group was part of organized robbery groups in Ozamis City.
Police were also investigating the mall’s security personnel on why they were not armed when the robbery occurred.
J Centre Mall security and safety manager Gaspar Malanquis explained the management does not allow firearms inside the mall to prevent shooting incidents that would endanger shoppers.