LANAO DEL NORTE, Philippines – It was supposed to be his follow-up vaccine, but health workers in this town visited Baby Rex June Laride in his wake instead. He was killed in a bloody police operation, 4 am in the morning on September 11, at their residence in Barangay Taguranao here.
He is five months old.
In a wake at the house of his uncle, his coffin lined up with the coffins of his mother, Virginia Delibo, 35 and his father, Bebino Laride, 32.
“Gidala siya sa iyang mama, for the first time, para mabakunahan didto sa health center. Wala pa gyud siyay bakuna sukad. Nindot kaayo nga bata, tambok, cute kaayo (His mother brought him to get vaccinated in the health center. The child is very good looking, chubby and cute),” said health worker, Lovely Alandroque.
Delibo, live-in partner of Laride, is also scheduled to have her first pre-natal after telling health workers that she missed her menstruation that month. She underwent pregnancy test and was carrying a baby..
“Gipabalik namo siya karong adlawa unta sa health center para among ma-check up kung buntis pa gyud siya. Posible nga ang babaye mabuntis bisan lima pa ka bulan ang iyang unang gi-anak (We asked her to come back today to the health center so we can have her checked if she is pregnant. It’s possible for a woman to get pregnant even five months after she gave birth),” the health workers said.
Reports of Tubod Municipal Police Station stated that authorities were supposed to serve a warrant of arrest for Bebino for frustrated murder but “the accused seriously resisted and successively fired several times several times against the assaulting SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics Team), prompting the assaulting team to retaliate and fatally hit the accused causing his instant death together with his live-in partner and five-month old son who were lying beside him.”
The mother and son were hit by stray bullets, said the police report signed by Police Senior Inspector Roland Donor, Tubod MPS chief of police, states.
One lead scout, PO1 Yasser Macatbar of Lanao del Norte SWAT, was wounded in his left leg during the exchange of gun fire. He is now in a safe condition and undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Iligan City.
PNP’s Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) recovered from the crime scene Laride’s M2 carbine with one steel magazine loaded with seven bullets.
Authorities also recovered eight pieces of spent cartridges believed to be for carbine .22 rifle.
The same police report did not state how many empty shells were recovered from the crime scene but Jocelyn Laride, older sister of Bebino, said her brother has 37 gunshot wounds while Delibo has 12 as relayed to them by the morgue personnel.
Baby Rex was wounded on his butt that exited on his private part.
In a press briefing, Police Senior Superintendent Leopoldo Cabanag, acting provincial director of Lanao del Norte Police Office, asked for forgiveness that innocent lives were killed in the said operation.
He claimed that it was not a massacre, but admitted that the operating team was there to serve warrant of arrest for Bebino’s brother Jonel, who is wanted for frustrated murder. Cabanag clarified that Bebino was not the subject of the police operation as reported in the police report.
“Hindi totoong brutal ang pangyayari, walang pulis na gagawa noon, hindi sinasadya ang pangyayari. Ang operation natin ay legitimate (It was not brutal, the police will never do that. It was an accident and the operation is legitimate),” he added.
Reporters visited the crime scene and saw bullet-riddled shanty from its wooden walls to the bamboo floors. A resident in the area who guided reporters to the crime scene believed that a police personnel fired from under the floor where an empty shell of M16 was also found.
Cabanag said, eight police personnel of Tubod MPS are now under restrictive custody including the chief of police.
Family calls for justice
Jocelyn said her brother’s frustrated case was already dismissed by the court last August 22.
“Sakit kaayo sa amoa nga ingon ani ang gibuhat sa mga pulis sa akong igsoon. Imbes naningkamot gyud mi nga masulbad ang iyang pamilya, ma-settle sila sa iyang nasad-an, kay gusto na niya nga mamuyo na siya kauban sa iyang pamilya nga dili na magtago-tago, tungod sa iyang anak. Gidamay pa sa mga pulis ang gamay’ng bata (What the police has done is very painful for us. We were trying our best to settle his case because he wants to live in peace because of his son, now the police also took the child’s life),” Jocelyn said.
She asks President Rodrigo Duterte to intervene so that a fair justice can be given to the family of her brother.
“Presidente, malo-oy ka, hatagi og hustisya ang akong igsoon kay looy kaayo iyang pamilya, gihurot gyud siya. Wala gyuy kalooy ang mga pulis nga naghimo ani (President, have mercy, we hope to get justice on the killing of my sibling and his family. The police have no mercy),” she said.(davaotoday.com)