“JUSTICE for Ryan Casiban.”
Those were the words on the white shirts worn by the family of a police officer whose death remained unsolved while he was buried yesterday morning in Barangay Marigondon, Lapu-Lapu City.
Senior Insp. Jomar Medil, chief of the Cordova Police Station, called on individuals to speak up if they know something about what happened to PO2 Ryan Casiban. He said the only affidavits they have so far were those from Casiban’s family.
“Karon sige ta og syagit og hustisya apan moluom ra kita, di sila mopatim-aw kung duna sila’y mga information so wala lang gihapon (We keep crying out for justice but if witnesses do not come out, nothing will happen),” the station chief said.
He pointed out that a special investigation task group was already created by the Police Regional Office 7 to dig deeper into Casiban’s death.
During the funeral rites, two tarpaulin sheets with Casiban’s image were displayed. One showed excerpts of what he had written in the Cordova Police Station’s blotter before he disappeared.
Chona, Casiban’s wife, fainted while she wept.
Two days after he went missing, Casiban was found dead with a gunshot wound in his head in Barangay Agus in Lapu-Lapu last Aug. 12. He had left the police station past 2:50 a.m. last Aug. 10.
A few minutes before he left, police officers found out that Casiban had written a blotter report that named retired generals Vicente Loot and Marcelo Garbo as being among those allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.
Loot is now mayor of Daanbantayan town, and both he and Garbo have denied the allegations, first made public by President Rodrigo Duterte during his first week in office.
“I want to write what is justice for all to stop all illegal drugs. God is in me,” a part of Casiban’s report read.
The mass before his burial began at 10 a.m. yesterday. Among the rituals were a 21-gun salute.
In an interview, Marilou, Casiban’s mother, said that the family will try to ask for the help of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to find out who had killed her son.
She declined to comment further.
Casiban and Chona have four children. They include seven-year-old Barack James, their third child, who wants to become a policeman.
Barack wore his father’s police cap and sunglasses during the burial.
As of yesterday, the authorities did not yet have a lead on who was behind Casiban’s death and why.
Medil added that PO2 Dindo Tajanlangit, who is known to his friends as Atan and whom Casiban had named in the blotter entry, will also be included in the investigation. (Tajanlangit has denied any involvement in illegal drugs or his fellow officer’s death.)
An autopsy showed that it was unlikely Casiban had been tortured.
Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 said this was one of the details that came up during the first case conference of the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) last Wednesday.
The deputy regional director for operations further said there was no signs of a struggle in the vacant lot in Barangay Agus, Lapu-Lapu City where Casiban was found by children looking for spiders last Aug. 12. Casiban had a gunshot wound in the head.
The place is about 200 meters from the officer’s residence.
Lawas, however, said they are not yet ruling out a suicide.
Casiban’s cell phone was already recovered and will be examined for clues.
Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa has told the PRO 7 to conduct an in-depth inquiry on Casiban’s death.
A closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera of an establishment on the boundary of Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova recorded Casiban at 2:54 a.m. last Aug. 10, the day he disappeared.