THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has taken over the Harjan Lagman case.
In a statement Monday morning, December 21, Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) Director Colonel Allen Rea Co said that during the course of their inquiry, "matters have come to light indicating that members of the PNP are involved in the commission of the crime. Consequently, to pave the way for an impartial investigation, Baguio City Police Office voluntarily inhibits itself from further investigating the crime and will turn it over to our sister agency, the NBI."
Co added the BCPO will coordinate with the NBI and will convey to them and to the counsel of the family all documents and files of the case they have gathered.
"This is in the hope that this will dispel any suspicion or doubts on the integrity of the investigation and of allegations of any possible cover-up. We remain committed to seeking Justice for the Victim and his family and will provide full cooperation and support to the probe to be conducted by the NBI," added Co.
Previously, Brigadier General R'win Pagkalinawan, regional director of the Police Regional Office Cordillera (PRO-COR) in a separate statement said he is personally saddened and shocked that a crime this brutal was committed by members of the police force.
"Though historically we know that beheading enemies used to be a part of the culture of the Cordilleras, in these modern times, it is anathema to contemporary society," said Pagkalinawan.
Pagkalinawan added the incident brought down the morale of the whole police force of Cordillera.
"It was we ourselves who investigated, identified and be the ones to file the case against the perpetrators, notwithstanding the fact that they are our brothers in arms," Pagkalinawan said.