Kin, friends of slain darts man seek justice

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

SUSPECTING that Godwin Vergara’s shooter is a police, his wife, relatives and friends are now planning to seek help from the regional office of the Commission on Human Rights to get justice.

Relanie, wife of 37-year-old Godwin Vergara who was shot dead in the head twice on Thursday dawn, July 31, is firm that her family will ask for investigation from the CHR in northern Mindanao despite fears and apprehensions.

"Until now, I do not know what to do yet. I do not know where to run to. What I am sure is to stay strong to seek for investigation and justice," Relanie said.


Vergara's close friend in darts club Duel Bacarro, former president of Cagayan de Oro Darts Association (Coda), is assisting the family's endeavor.

"For now, we are still looking for other witnesses who can come forward and testify to the investigators what really happened," Bacarro told Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro Tuesday afternoon.

Aside from the CHR-10, the family also will request for investigation from independent agencies like the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

Meanwhile, Chief Inspector Ariel Phillip Pontillas, Macasandig police station commander, told this paper Tuesday that they are already gathering testimonies from witnesses near the area of the incident.

"We are still asking the family to cooperate with us since the wife herself saw the incident. But, she has not responded yet perhaps because she still is grieving. We'll just wait for the right time and whenever they are ready," he said.

Pontillas said his team obtained already the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera from a house in Tomas Saco-15th streets where the shooting happened around 2:30 a.m. Thursday.

However, the video clip could barely identify the suspect and the descriptions of his motorcycle.

Last Friday, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) chief Senior Superintendent Graciano Mijares ordered the City Investigation Detective and Management Branch (CIDMB) chief Superintendent Adonis Mutia to immediately begin the probe to clear a police officer from accusation in the public's eye.

However, Mutia said they are still in the process of gathering pieces of evidences, while winning the cooperation of the victim's family.

Other than the investigations of the CIDMB and Macasandig police, Pontillas said it is better for the family to tap other government law enforcement so that whatever results the probe will produce the family will be satisfied.

The police in the city, however, have been heavily criticized following the spate of killings of individuals that were dumped or burned in isolated areas.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 07, 2014.

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