The Philippine National Police (PNP) has already identified the two policemen who fired the shots that killed suspected drug pushers Antonio Dalit and 16-year old Jhondie Maglinte Helis during the June 16 anti-drugs operation in Biñan City in Laguna.
The PNP did not disclose the names of the policemen but said both the slugs recovered from the cadavers of Dalit and Helis were from .45 pistol and that they matched the two handguns submitted by two policemen who took part in the operation–one of them has a rank of Police Master Sergeant while the other one was a police captain.
PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T Eleazar said the results of the ballistics examination and cross-matching on the guns and the slugs recovered from the cadavers of Dalit and Helis led to the identification of the policemen. Both Dalit and Helis suffered two bulletwounds.
But Eleazar said that although the policemen were identified, it was not yet established on whether or not there was indeed an exchange of gunfire. Another primary focus of the Fact-Finding Investigation Task Group is looking into the allegation that Helis was handcuffed at the time he was shot.
“There’s a presumption of regularity in the conduct of this operation, unless there are witnesses who could corroborate that there was no exchange of gunfire and that Helis was already handcuffed when he was repeatedly shot as claimed by the relatives,” said Eleazar.
The Chief PNP said no witnesses have surfaced so far to substantiate the allegations.
“Our Internal Affairs Service investigators went to the house of the relatives to console their families and to ask for their statements of the incident, together with their witnesses but they refused, PGen Eleazar said, quoting a report from IAS Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo.
Eleazar then reiterated his call for relatives of Helis and Dalit and other possible witnesses to come forward and give their statements to the different investigating bodies as they could help shed light on what really transpired.
The PNP Chief said that it was concerning that there seemed to be many witnesses to the incident in the video uploaded on social media, based on the audible chatting on the video’s background, but none of them were coming forward to actually give their statements.
“It is not yet clear what really happened. So we are calling on those who have witnessed the incident to report or cooperate with the ongoing investigation,” said Eleazar.
“Always remember that we cannot find out the truth and we cannot serve justice if you continue to remain silent,” he added.