Sunday, November 23, 2014

5 Bontoc Policemen Facing Murder Charges In Connection With Student's Death

People who believe that policemen are to be blamed for the death of a 20-year-old student in Bontoc, Mt. Province last November 5 can heave a sigh of relief. At least momentarily. They are one step closer to getting the justice they've been clamoring for. Last Friday, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed murder charges against the five Bontoc policemen who were involved in the case.

Stefene Galidan, a native of Bauko and a business management student at the Mt. Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC) in Poblacion, Bontoc died in the morning of November 5 after being brought to the hospital by the five Bontoc policemen who accosted the young student earlier. According to a police report by the cops involved, they encountered Galidan and his two companions loitering in the streets within curfew hours.

According to the same report, the three young men were creating trouble and one of them was holding and swaying an empty bottle of brandy (Emperador). When the policemen apprehended them, they argued with the cops and resisted arrest. Galidan also allegedly tried to take pictures of the cops as they tried to apprehend one of his friends. Galidan's companions were able to run away. Galidan voluntarily submitted himself and said he'll accompany the policemen to the Bontoc Municipal Police Station so that he can file a complaint.

On the way to the police office, Galidan allegedly opened the door of the patrol car and jumped out. He landed on the pavement causing "multiple abrasions on his person". That's when the policemen brought Galidan to the Bontoc General Hospital. The police report dated November 5 stated that Galidan was "on stable condition" at the hospital.

In a progress report by the same police station, the station was informed by Angel Libang (a relative of the victim) that Galidan has expired at the hospital.
Photo by Ricky Samidan via Facebook.
However, according to the National Bureau of Investigation, there's reason to believe that the young Galidan died because of what the policemen may have done to him before bringing him to the hospital. Thus the murder charges filed against them. The NBI also stated that autopsy reports, closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage and witness accounts provide even more teeth to the charges.

The autopsy report which was conducted in the morning of November 6 showed that the cause of death was "multiple traumatic injuries". According to the report, Galidan suffered several external and internal injuries. He had abrasions on his face, arms, and hands. He had hematoma on different parts of his head. There was hemorrhage in his stomach and left kidney.

The five policemen have been identified as SPO4 Rolando Bagangan, SPO4 Michael Napa-eg, SPO3 Lester Faba-an, SPO2 Gaspar Suagen and PO3 Raul Fagsao.