Mother seeks justice after cop mauls son in Misamis Oriental

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – A mother has sought justice after her 18-year-old son was allegedly mauled by a policeman on Guno Gundaya St., Barangay 1, Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental last June 4.

In an interview Sunday, June 12, Glenda Nolasco said that she wants justice as her son, together with his three friends, was only playing mobile games prior to the incident and went outside their residence to play their bicycle when the alleged mauling incident happened at about 11 p.m.

MARK Angel Nolasco shows bruises he sustained when he was allegedly beaten by a police officer in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental June 4. (Photo courtesy of Glenda Nolasco)
Based on closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) footage posted by the mother in her Facebook account, her son, Mark Angelo, together with his two friends, were waiting for their other friend who rode the bicycle on the street when four motorcycles driven by policemen from the Gingoog City Police Station, who were not in uniform, arrived.

The CCTV also showed that the four motorcycles surrounded the young individuals on the street. One of the motorcycles fell down and a police officer, together with the victim, went straight to an area where it was not clearly captured by the CCTV.

Nolasco explained that her son sustained bruises and slight injuries on his body, arm, and neck after a certain police officer, according to her, punched her son, stepped on his body, and searched him.

“What's even more painful, I saw him crying and his whole body was shaking and still hugging the lanzones tree. I asked him, son, what is your fault? He said he did not do anything and he was surprised and shocked when they (the police officer) did that to him,” Nolasco said in the vernacular.

“According to my son, they suddenly grabbed him and mauled him. My son was crying, trembling in fear because of the extreme trauma,” Nolasco added.

She stressed that her son has no bad record in the barangay, in school, and even the police. She said she is willingness to let the police to conduct some investigation to prove the good record of his son.

In response, Police Lt. Col. Mitchell Clemencio, Gingoog City police chief, said Monday, June 13, that he respected the version of the victim’s mother and vowed to conduct an investigation to resolve the incident as they have already received the complaint.

However, Clemencio said based on the explanation of Police Corporal Edkhin Taburada, the police officer who was accused of beating the victim, there was no mauling incident and the victim just sustained slight injuries after he collided with the cemented portion of the area.

“The police officer held the victim but he resisted. That was why the police officer with his motorcycle fell down. The child was not harmed. The child's hand hit the cement,” Clemencio said.

“Based on the explanation, because I asked them (police officers who were present during the incident) to explain, and they said there was no mauling incident. But I still respected the victim’s version,” he added.

The Gingoog police chief said that there is an ongoing curfew implemented in the city for minors due to the series of theft incidents involving them. Clemencio said that the three individuals accompanying Mark Angelo are all minors.

He also explained that the police officers, during that day, were not in uniform as part of their strategy to fight against criminality and to maintain the peace and order in the city.

Clemencio stressed that they do not tolerate any bad behavior by the police and assured the public they are willing to respond to any allegations.

“I am asking the people of Gingoog that we should immediately believe because our police are continuing to perform their job. If this incident proves to be true, those are few police officers, we should not generalize because it’s too painful,” he said.