A POLICE Station chief has denied a social media post which accused his men of mauling a robbery suspect in Upper Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City last November 29, saying it was a fabricated story to destroy the police's reputation.
Senior Inspector Mario Mantala, Police Station 9 commander, said the accusation was posted by Facebook user Hostado Abogado last December 2. The account can no longer be accessed as of Wednesday, December 5.
The post contains photos of robbery suspect Janbert Pagula. 23, whose body was marked with bruises and wounds.
The post said, "Taga gabii na lang daw siya kulatahon sa police sa Macasandig basta mahubog gainom daw ang police sa Macasandig taga gabii sulod sa ilang barax asang hustisya ana?"
Mantala said he does not condone police brutality as he always reminds his men to uphold and respect human rights of even those accused of crimes.
"Wala siya gikulata sa atong sakop ug dili hubog ang atong kapolisan dinhi kay bawal na," Mantala said.
Mantala clarified that bystanders in the area were the ones who beat up the suspect when he and his two companions ran for cover on board a motorcycle after robbing a girl near a convenience store in Barangay Macasandig.
The other two suspects fled.
Mantala said the mauling of the suspect was captured by another resident, who posted it on Facebook.
He maintained that the responding policemen saved the suspect from the furious residents.
Pagula said he was thankful to the responding policemen who brought him to the JR Borja General Hospital to get treatment.
"Moabot tingali sa 30 ka mga tawo apil mga istambay ang nagkulata sa ako. Nagpasalamat ko sa police kay pag-abot nila naundang na ang papkulata sa ako," the suspect, who is now detained, said.
Mantala said Pagula and two suspects at-large will face robbery and illegal possession of bladed weapons charges.
He also said they are also mulling to press online libel charges against the person who posted the "fake news" on Facebook.
He said Hosgado Abogado may have kept grudges towards the police station or the organization. Police are establishing his identity.
"Naa mi idea kinsa na si Abogado nga posible duna siyay kaso sa kapolisan ug posible nga taga diha ra sa area. Padayon atong imbestigasyon," Mantala said.