THREE policemen from Cebu City Station 2 are facing criminal and administrative charges before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas in relation to the death of 11-year-old Chastity Mirabiles.
Lawyer Ricardo Diaz, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 chief, yesterday filed grave misconduct and obstruction of apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders against Chief Insp. Wildemar Tiu, the former head of Police Station 2.
Diaz also charged PO2 Raymonito Mesa and PO2 Manuel Sejano with murder and grave misconduct charges for allegedly conspiring to commit the crime.
Renato, 58, Chastity Mirabiles’ grandfather, said Tiu should face the charges.
He said he does not believe Tiu’s claim that he was not involved in Chastity’s death. He thanked the child witness for his help.
Chief Supt. Prudencio Tom Bañas, director of Police Regional Office (PRO) 7, said they will look into the possibility of giving legal assistance to Tiu and other officers.
He said the respondents should “answer the accusation in the proper forum.”
Lawyer Augusto Eric Isidoro, NBI 7 assistant director, believes they have a strong case against the policemen.
The NBI 7 attached to its complaint the affidavit of three child witnesses, who helped the agents in their investigation and filing of charges against the policemen.
The autopsy performed by NBI 7 medico-legal officer Dr. Rene Cam showed that Chastity died because of “blunt traumatic injuries” to the chest and abdomen on Easter Sunday. Cam also found bruises on her right arm, chest, armpit and abdomen.
Gina (real name withheld) said she and Chastity were rounded up by policemen from Police Station 2 while they were sleeping along Gen. Maxilom Ave.
She said they woke up from hard kicks in the face and body from a policeman. The kids were brought to Fuente Police Station where they were made to sleep on the floor and were released at 6 p.m. on April 5.
Since Chastity could hardly walk out of the police station, Gina said she helped the victim in going to the Fuente Osmeña rotunda.
Two more child witnesses also executed affidavits corroborating the statement of Gina. They said they were begging along Gen. Maxilom Ave. when policemen arrived.
They said they saw the policemen throw Chastity and Gina into a police car.
The NBI 7 showed them photographs of the policemen assigned at Fuente police.
Gina identified Mesa as the one who allegedly kicked Chastity in the face and other parts of her body and Sejano as the one who drove the patrol car.
Insp. Tiu appeared before the NBI 7 and denied that his office conducted a rescue operation on Easter Sunday.
Tiu’s supposed witness turned the tables on him when they went to the NBI 7 office supposedly to execute his affidavit.
On June 8, Leo (real name withheld) said he was awakened by a man while he was sleeping on the road near the Cebu Cathedral.
He said he was brought to a car where four men, including Tiu, were waiting. Tiu allegedly told him in Bisaya, “Help me and I will also help you.”
Tiu allegedly told the witness that he could not kill the child since he also has a child. On their way to the NBI 7 office, Tiu reportedly instructed Leo to lie and just claim that they are neighbors of the victim.
Tiu allegedly coached the witness to tell the NBI 7 that he saw Chastity’s stepfather maltreat her on April 2.
In charging the policemen, the NBI 7 Chief Diaz said the defense of Mesa and Sejano that they were somewhere else during the supposed rescue operation of street children could not be given weight compared to the identification by the minor witness.