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2 Davao cops face probe for mauling of minors



The two mobile police officers accused of allegedly mauling three minors involved in a riot last January 21 were placed under restriction while being probed by the Investigation and Detection Management Bureau (IDMB) of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO).

This after Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio asked for an investigation on the incident to mete out the appropriate sanction, if the policemen involved are found to have violated rules on apprehension.

The mayor said she learned of the incident after a lawyer called her office about the mauling of the minors.

“We expect that the Davao City Police Office will make it right for the complainants, even if they are in conflict with the law,” she said.

DCPO spokesperson Mara Teresita Gaspan said the two police officers whose names are still withheld pending the result of the investigation responded to a call from the Central 911 of an ongoing riot at around 1:15 a.m. But the minors were already at the barangay hall of Barangay 19-B Garcia Heights.

The minors also violated the curfew hour as it was already past 1:00 a.m, according to Gaspan.

Even if the two are children in conflict with the law (CICL), Gaspan underscored DCPO personnel do not tolerate and do condone misconduct and inappropriate behavior.

Gaspan said this is the first time that DCPO police officers were accused of violating the rights of minors even if they are CICL. In her statement released Tuesday night, the mayor admitted the incident was surprising.

"We are confident that Davao City policemen know by heart their obligation to uphold the rights of all people, especially those who have less in life and the most vulnerable," she said.

Duterte-Carpio said issues concerning human rights abuse against members of the DCPO are very few, if not, absent.

She added the city takes pride in the fact that they do not cut corners in lowering crime incidence in the city.

The mayor has cautioned the police that while minors committing crimes should be taken into custody, force should not be used against them unless police authority is ignored or lives are in danger because of the actions of the minors.

Gaspan said this is also the first time the information emanated from the office of the mayor.

One of the minors said he and companions were just rescued by the barangay tanods in Barangay 19-B for violating the curfew hours for minors and not for making riots.

He said he and his companions were brought by the police officers to the City Social Services Development Office - Quick Response Team for Children's Concerns (CSSDO-QRTCC) beside San Pedro Police Station to sign a certain document.

The victim said that from CSSDO-QRTCC they were brought back to the Barangay Hall and the mauling incident happened.

"Gibalik mi sa barangay og didto mi gibunalan og gisumbag-sumbag (We were brought back to the barangay and punched and hit us there)," he said.

In a Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras shown by Barangay 19-B administrator to the reporters, the three victims lined-up in front of the erring police officer who held a rattan stick.

The victims were hit with rattan sticks on their soles and then told to do kneel-walking and ‘squatras’ The three minors were also punched in their stomach.

The police officer again approached the victims and punched that made them lean on the table.

Gaspan assured that the two cops will answer the accusation at the proper forum and encouraged complainants to submit evidence.

“We are reminding all police officers to exercise restriction and respect dignity of the human being,” Gaspan said.

Lilian Mellejor and Armando Fenequito, Jr. / PNA