Wife of slain darts man optimistic on NBI probe

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

AFTER weeks of being in the dark and unaware and confused on what to do on the killing of darts man Godwin Vergara, his wife Relanie finally found a refuge in the hands of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to unlock the missing pieces that could lead to her husband's killer.

In a letter from a law office representing the Vergaras sent to the NBI last August 11, Relanie formally requested assistance from the bureau to conduct extensive investigation on Vergara’s death.

Lawyer Ramil Carreon, legal counsel of the family, said in the letter that Relanie is in dire need of help of an independent investigating body to unmask the identity of the perpetrators as she is up against powerful nemesis.


"Our client has well-founded belief that [her husband’s] mysterious death has something to do with such nasty accusation," he stated.

Carreon added: "What baffled the wife were the circumstances that happened before her husband's killing."

Relanie is now "a bit comfortable" to seek the help of NBI and optimistic that justice will be served.

Set to compete in a national darts competition days after he died, Godwin Vergara was shot to death by a motorcycle-riding assailant around 2:40 a.m. of July 31.

Before he was shot on the head twice, Vergara, along with his wife and a companion, was subjected to an inquiry at the Macasandig police station after he and his companion were suspected as motorcycle thieves.

‘Cold treatment’

However, the grieving family is dismayed over the "cold treatment" of the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) in the region after they approached the agency.

Duel Bacarro, a close family friend of the Vergaras, also lamented of the CHR's treatment saying, "they are not doing something about it."

An investigator from the CHR who requested anonymity for security reasons told Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro Monday afternoon that they were only asking for the "substantial documents" to assure progress of the complaint.

"We are conducting our own investigation even before the request had been filed. We asked the family for substantial documents, but they have not submitted these to us. It would not do if everything is based on allegations," the investigator said.

He furthered that this, of course, would not stop them from doing their responsibility as an investigating body.

Following the commission’s rule, the investigator refused to name what these "substantial documents" are.


Meanwhile, Vergara's case might be in a state of deadlock according to Senior Inspector Ariel Philip Pontillas, chief of Macasandig police station, after the victim’s wife refused to give her statement as witness to the crime.

"We have done all our investigation. We culled witness statements from the security guards on duty in a bar and we already have the video clip from a house near the street [where Vergara was shot]. We only need her [Relanie] statement. It is better that they will cooperate in our investigation. But we'd still respect her decision not to speak up regarding this matter as we understand her state," Pontillas said.

Pontillas tried to reach out to the family while Vergara's body was laid at a funeral home but to no avail. Still, he is hopeful and open when Relanie is ready to face the police.

Mother died

Meanwhile, at around 9 a.m. on August 17, Vergara's mother died of a road mishap while on her way home from visiting her son's tomb at a private cemetery in Barangay Bulua.

The 59-year-old Resurrecion Vergara fell from the motorized tricycle she was on board while the vehicle was descending on the road.

She was immediately brought to a private hospital in the city. However, attending physicians declared her dead on arrival.

The suspect identified as Pedroso Cabatuan, 49 of Barra, Opol, is detained at the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) detention cell, said PO1 Roel Paje, Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) responding enforcer.

"For now, we do not really know what to do. Godwin just died and his mom (my mother-in-law) followed. We just lift everything up to God's plan," Relanie said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 19, 2014.

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