RPO: Killers in unsolved cases unknown

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Sunday, March 30, 2014


THE Regional Prosecution Office-Davao Region (RPO-11) has recorded a total of 103 unsolved cases with still unknown culprits between 2012 until the beginning of 2014.

Regional State Prosecutor Antonio Arellano, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao, said the unsolved crimes involve shooting, stabbing, and incident where the victims were killed while the culprits are yet to be identified.

2010 has the most number of unsolved cases with a total of 35 including 21 shooting incidents and 13 stabbing incidents.

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A total of 25 unsolved crimes were tallied in 2011 with 19 shooting, four stabbing and two mauling incidents while 21 were recorded in 2012, including 18 shootings and three stabbing incidents.

In 2013, there were a total of 21 unsolved crimes with 19 shooting incidents and two stabbings while early this year, there have been two unsolved incidents so far.

"These incidents are being investigated and some of which are already being investigated by the Commission on Human Rights. But since it would take time to gather evidence against the perpetrators, we have offered cash claims for the relatives of the victims," Arellano said.

The regional state prosecutor cited that the RPO-11's Board of Claims section has received a total of 106 applications for cash claims. However, the three were ruled out after it was found that the claimants were applying for compensation for incidents that took place outside of Davao Region.

"This is the least we could do so far since the case build up against the possible suspects of these unsolved crimes is not an easy task. We cannot just file cases against suspects without any hard evidence since the efforts will just be wasted when the court does not find probable cause to charge a suspect," Arellano said.

He also said claimants who will get the approval will receive P10,000 as long as they are the direct relative of the victims.

But while the investigation on the cases are ongoing, RPO 11 has already activated 17 prosecutors to lead interagency investigation teams tasked to probe on cases involving human rights violations.

The creation of the interagency teams are by virtue of the Administrative Order No. 35 which creates an interagency composed of lawyers, police and military personnel to probe on cases of extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, torture and other human rights violations.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 30, 2014.

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