THE family of suspected drug lord Alvaro “Barok” Alvaro cried foul over his brother’s death in Danao City last Thursday night.
Emma, their mother, lodged a complaint before the Commission on Human Rights 7 yesterday, believing the police’s operation was an overkill.
The operatives from Danao City Police Station, led by their Chief Senior Insp. Alejandro Batobalonos, allegedly shot the lamppost so no other person could see what transpired during the buy-bust against Medz Alvaro and Ronie Castro.
“Ilaha nang katungod mangayog hustisya sa iyang anak. Nagpa-blotter sila, among gitugtan (It’s their right to seek justive for their son. They had it on blotter, we let them be),” said Batobalonos.
Emma said she cannot accept the death of Medz, whom she said succumbed to 12 gunshot wounds. Her son left behind four young children.
“Mokiha ko uy kay pait kaayo ang akong anak dagha’g lungag. Ang nakuha nga bala didto sa autopsy, .9mm. Dunay bala nag-ungot sa utok, ang iyang kasingkasing napikas, ang iyang baga nabalbag (I have to sue them because they riddled my son with bullets. In the autopsy, there was .9mm. There was one the lodged on his brain, his hearts was split into two, his lungs shattered),” she said in a TV5 Cebu in a report.
Batobalonos denied there was an overkill, saying a “running gun battle” ensued against the suspects outside the Alvaros’ house in Barangay Looc.
The suspects went inside the compound. Medz was cornered in one of the rooms, while Castro in the yard.
Batobalanos said the team was composed of 18 personnel including the ones from Special Weapons and Tactics.
“Gun battle gani, kaming tanan mopabuto gyod mi (If it’s a gun battle, we all have to shoot),” he said in a phone interview. “Nangaigo na sila, sige lang gihapon og tira (They were hit, but they kept firing).”
Emma denied threatening to kill the police officers, but he only shouted at them that she would press charges against them.
The team engaged in a shootout with Medz and Castro after they allegedly resisted arrest by shooting at the operatives.
Investigation showed Medz and Barok’s wife took over the illegal drug operation after Barok was detained at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center.
Medz’s sister Teresa Alvaro Veloso has a different version of the story.
“Mga silingan nakabati sa akong manghod nagsiyagit-siyagit, nanawag siya sa akong inahan (Our neighbors heard my brother screaming, calling for our mother),” she said
The police then carried the bodies, put them on the patrol car and carried them to the morgue.
Castro’s niece Manilyn Delfino said her uncle surrendered to the police in Oplan Tokhang and promised not to engage in illegal drug anymore.
“Hustisya lang gyod amoa. Ilang giingon nga ilang gibutangan og pusil ang tuo sa akong uyoan, pero walhon ra ba gyod ang akong uyoan (We just want justice. They said they put a gun on my uncle’s right hand, but my uncle was left-handed),” she said.
Batobalonos admitted Castro had surrendered, but the latter went back to selling shabu. He urged Castro’s family to prove their allegation that they planted the gun in the suspect’s possession.
Emma said they are only engage in selling food in their neighborhood and they are worried for their safety.
“Wala mi mamaligya anang shabu (We’re not selling shabu),” she said.
CHR 7 Leo Villarino told Sun.Star Cebu that they urged Emma to bring witnesses to corroborate her statement, which will be documented by his office.
Villarino said they will send a subpoena to Danao City police under Batobalonos to submit to CHR 7 the police investigation report so they will know what transpired during the police operation.
“Their investigation report is important so we will be guided in the investigation of the complaint,” Villarino said.
Villarino said they only read in the newspapers that there was a buy-bust operation by the police at the time Medz and Ronie Castro were killed in Sitio Pulangyuta, Looc, Danao City.
“The police is not yet an accused here. They will only become respondent once the police will be subpoenaed to submit a counter-affidavit,” Villarino said.
He said a subpoena for the police to submit counter-affidavit is only issued if the evidence is already sufficient basis to require them to answer the allegation of Emma’s complaint.
He said if Emma’s complaint that her son was shot dead while being helpless will be corroborated by witnesses plus the result of the autopsy, that may make the allegation sufficient.
The police said Medz had taken over the illegal drug trade of his brother, Barok, who surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Bohol shortly after another suspected druglord, Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz was killed in a shootout with the police in Las Pinas, Metro Manila.
Barok is jailed at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) because of the case filed against him during a raid in his resthouse in Catmon, Cebu last year.
The operation was led by Senior Supt. Paul Labra who is now a police attache abroad.
In that raid, the police seized several high-powered firearms and five kilos of shabu reportedly owned by Barok.
After the killing of Medz and Castro, the police confiscated 20 sachets of shabu worth P9,944 from them plus the firearms and P1,000 cash believed to be drug procees and P299 bill used in the buy-bust operation.
Batobalonos told the media that after the buy-bust operation, Emma stormed the police station and told eight intelligence officers that her son (Barok) can have them killed.
A few hours after that, the Danao Police Station was strafed destroying 11 jalousie blades of the second floor window of the building.