Awards for 6 officers who stopped ‘Yawa’

A GOVERNMENT body initially found no trace of overkill in the way one suspect was shot during a police operation in Banacon Island, Getafe in Bohol almost two weeks ago.

Dr. Ludivino Lagat of the Commission on Human Rights’ (CHR) Forensic Division told reporters there was no sign that 22-year-old John Jason Montes had been shot at close range by police.

Lagat and three members of his team who autopsied Montes’s body yesterday found two gunshot wounds, one of which may have resulted in his death.

Also yesterday, six police officers received awards from the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 for their operation against suspected drug lord Rowen “Yawa” Secretaria last May 28.

Montes and Dario Torremocha, who died in the same shootout in Banacon, were said to be Secretaria’s subordinates.

The CHR’s Lagat and his team will come up with a report on the operation within the next two weeks.

A gunshot wound which entered the right side of Montes’s body and exited through his left underarm may have caused his death. It damaged his lungs severely, the autopsy showed.

Another gunshot wound was found on his left wrist.

Lagat said that most of the gunshots were fired from a distance.

Leo Villarino, CHR 7 chief investigator, said that their forensic team from Manila came to Cebu yesterday following a request from Montes’s family to have him autopsied.

Basketball

The family wanted to know if Montes had really died in a legitimate police operation. Montes’s family had claimed that the he was in Banacon only to play basketball and not to work for Secretaria.

A 10-year-old witness has come forward to testify that Montes reportedly didn’t resist arrest when the police arrived at Secretaria’s house.

Montes will be buried in a public cemetery in Barangay Calamba this afternoon.

On the day before his burial, six officers responsible for the operation last May 28 received awards.

Senior Insp. Joey Bicoy, Senior Insp. Leo Logroño, Insp. Mikhail Mallorca, SPO2 Francis Allen Villamor, SPO1 Celso Paquibot Jr., and PO1 Rolex Borgonia received the Medalya ng Kagalingan (Philippine National Police Medal of Merit) yesterday.

Deputy Director General Danilo Constantino and PRO 7 Director Chief Supt. Patrocino Comendador Jr. pinned the medals on the officers, who are from the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Group, Provincial Intelligence Branch, Cebu Provincial Police Office and Regional Public Safety Batallion 7.

Cebu City Mayor-elect Tomas Osmeña gave P155,000 to the team last June 2.

The officers donated P100,000 to a charity of their choice and equally divided the remaining P55,000.

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