Thursday August 16, 2018

Another detainee dies in police custody

MANILA. Allan Rafael was on OFW who had to return home after he was diagnosed with cancer, according to his brother Aarun. Allan was arrested on August 2, 2018. Four days later, he was dead. (Photo from Aarun Rafael Facebook)

ANOTHER detainee has died while under the custody of the police.

Allan Rafael, who was arrested on August 2, was reported by the Manila Police District (MPD) on August 6 to have died of cardiorespiratory arrest.

The police denied in a statement that Rafael was tortured. The MPD said the medico legal officer who examined the victim concluded that Rafael died of cardiorespiratory arrest.

The police also insisted that arresting officers found two sachets of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) from Allan’s possession.

He was arrested together with his back rider Sherwin Angeles on August 2.

“We will faithfully do our duty to ensure that his family and our community will be informed of all our investigative steps to produce a thorough investigation,” the MPD said.

In a Facebook post, Aarun Rafael said his brother Allan was an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who returned home after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Allan was arrested by the police on August 2 at a checkpoint at Claro M. Recto corner Loyola Street in Quiapo, Manila.

“Kwento ni kuya, tila hulidap pa ang nangyari dahil tinanong pa ng mga pulis kung original daw ba ‘yung relo niya G-Shock bago ito kunin, pinilit din siyang mag withdraw ng pera ng mga pulis bago dalhin sa Barbosa Police Station sa may Quiapo,” he said.

(Kuya told us it seemed like a hulidap because the police asked whether his watch was a genuine G-Shock before they took it. He was also allegedly forced to withdraw money before he was brought to the Barbosa Police Station in Quiapo.)

Aarun said when they visited his brother at the police precinct, he told them that the police were forcing him to admit that he was using illegal drugs because of his physical appearance.

“Pagdating sa presinto pilit siyang pinapaamin na nagdra-drugs ang kuya ko dahil mukha nga daw siyang adik. Natural po na payat ang kuya ko kasi galing sa chemo(theraphy),” he said.

(My brother was thin because he underwent chemotherapy.)

Aarun said his brother told them on Sunday, August 5, that he was beaten up by the police to force him to admit his involvement in illegal drugs.

On Monday, August 6, Aarun said they were informed by the police that his brother had died after experiencing difficulty breathing.

He said Allan's remains had been embalmed when they went to the morgue.

Aarun said they discovered several bruises and abrasions on Allan’s body, which indicated that he was tortured.

“Ang tanong namin sa mga pulis sa Barbosa Police Station, bakit pina-embalsamo kaagad ang bangkay ng kuya ko nang wala mang pahintulot sa amin? Bakit parang basang-basa si kuya na parang nilublob sa tubig?” Aarun said.

“Malakas pa siya noong nakausap namin nung Linggo bakit kinabukasan patay na kaagad? Bakit niyo ipina-embalsamo wala pang miyembro ng pamilya? May tinatago ba kayo?...Dumating ‘yung mag-ootopsy tapos nang maebalsamo. Paano malalaman ang totoong dahilan ng pagkamatay ng kuya ko kung inembalsamo na agad? Bakit kayo nagmamadali?” he added.

Aarun asked for the help of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde, the Department of Justice and Commission on Human Rights as they seek justice for his brother.

“Umaasa kaming pinahahalagahan pa ang buhay dito sa Pilipinas at naniniwala kaming gumagana pa ang hustisya dito sa bansa,” he said.

Rafael was the second detainee to have died while in police custody.

On June 19, Genesis Argoncillo, 25 who was arrested on June 15 over alleged “alarm and scandal” died after reportedly experiencing difficulty breathing.

It was found later that Argoncillo was beaten up by other detainees and that he died of multiple blunt force trauma in the neck, head, chest and upper extremities.

Argoncillo’s death resulted in the relief of at least eight police officers pending an investigation on the incident. (SunStar Philippines)