THE City Prosecution Office of Davao dismissed the case filed against 13 police officers previously charged with murder over the death of another policeman allegedly involved in illegal drug activities who was killed in a drug bust operation they launched last September 16.
In a resolution dated April 11 which was approved by Davao City Chief Prosecutor Lawyer Nestor Ledesma, the murder charges filed through a regular filing procedure against Senior Police Officer 4 (SPO4) Jun Maranga, PO3 Dino Garcia, PO2 Junnefer Wahing, Police Inspector (PI) Rosmarie Aguilar, PI Lauriano Pajente, SPO1 Tejano, SPO1 Galigo, PO3 Roma, PO2 Ocampo, PO2 Bermudes, PO2 Castro, PO1 Callo, and SPO4 Didal for the death of suspect PO2 Diamel Laput Pangcoga were dismissed after the respondents showed sufficient evidence that they acted based on lawful self-defense.
Associate Prosecution Attorney 2 Jose Paolo Evangelista also stated in the resolution that complainant PO3 Alimosa Pangcoga and his witnesses had presented contrasting statements surrounding the case.
“The inconsistencies between the statements of complainant and his witnesses, while not fatal, affect the credibility of their version especially considering that complainant failed to adduce other independent evidence to corroborate the material points of his allegations,” the resolution stated.
The resolution stated that respondent SPO4 Maranga admitted to the killing of PO2 Diamel Laput Pangcoga as a lawful self-defense.
With this admission, the burden of proof was transferred to respondent Maranga to prove that the killing of the victim was based on his unlawful aggression, that there was reasonable necessity of the means employed by the respondent to prevent the aggression, and also to prove that there was insufficient provocation on the part of the respondent who was resorting to self-defense.
The respondents were able to present sufficient evidences to prove these, according to the resolution.
According to the resolution, the unrebutted statements of the respondents showed that it was the victim who fired his gun first when he sensed that one of the respondents who was the poseur buyer during the drug-bust operation was a police officer.
It was also stated that the victim reportedly continued to fire against the authorities as he attempted to flee from the arresting cops.
“The means employed by SPO4 Maranga were reasonably necessary not only to repel the unlawful aggression of the victim, but more importantly, to preserve his life,” the resolution reads.
It also added that the means of attack used by the person invoking self-defense is reasonable if it is equivalent to the means of attack used by the original aggressor.
Respondent PO2 Wahing also filed a counter complaint for perjury against complainant Pangcoga for allegedly “making willful and corrupt assertion of falsehood and] truthful statements in their sworn affidavits” but the prosecution office also dismissed the charges for absence of merit.
It was previously reported by Sun.Star Davao that the Talomo police reportedly conducted the operation, in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, around 11:30 p.m. on September 16, in Catalunan Grande where the victim lived.
An informant reportedly gave the signal to the police after the suspect arrived in the area on board a motorcycle without plate number.
The suspect, who sensed that it was an entrapment operation, pulled out his pistol and fired at the police officer who acted as a buyer.
Police operatives then gunned down the suspect as he tried to escape from the crime scene onboard his motorcycle. (Charlene Y. Koh and Vinz Gennine Caroline N. Tabaco, NDDU Interns/With RCP)