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Saturday, December 04, 2021

PO2 Casiban’s death: suicide or murder?

INVESTIGATORS found out that the empty shell recovered near the body of PO2 Ryan Casiban came from the officer’s firearm.

The .9mm pistol, which was issued by the government to the police officer, was also found near him.

Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 said the gun had been fired, according to the examination by the crime laboratory personnel.

He said there was gunpowder residue on the gun.

However, asked if the police officer was killed or may have committed suicide, Lawas said, “We have no conclusions yet.”

Lawas, the deputy regional director for operations, said the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) held a case conference last Monday and investigators are still gathering more evidence.

The result of the forensic examination on Casiban’s cellular phone has not been released to the investigators.

Supt. Anthony Bagarinao, the task group head, said they are checking nine closed circuit television cameras that possibly captured Casiban after he left Cordova Police Station past 2:50 a.m. last Aug. 10.

He said the task group will check if Casiban was either alone or not when he abandoned his post.

Casiban was found dead with a gunshot wound in his head in Barangay Agus in Lapu-Lapu last Aug. 12, more than 100 meters away from his residence.

Lawas said there was no signs of struggle in the vacant lot where the cop’s body was found by children looking for spiders.

This observation of the investigators, however, is not yet definitive that Casiban committed suicide.

The formation of the SITG came after Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa ordered the PRO 7 to dig deeper into Casiban’s death, after the latter wrote the names of retired deputy director general Marcelo Garbo and Daanbantayan Mayor Vicente Loot in a police blotter, connecting them to a drug syndicate.

Loot and Garbo, quoted in earlier reports, denied they have links with a drug syndicate.
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