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5 Batangas cops charged with murder for killing of Atimonan checkpoint victim's aide
The online news portal of TV5

(UPDATED - 6:54 p.m.) MANILA, Philippines - The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has filed a murder case again five Batangas policemen over the shooting of Fernando 'Pandoy' Morales, the aide of Vic Siman, the man who was shot dead at a controversial checkpoint in Atimonan, Quezon.

The five policemen are Supt. Raul Tacaca, SPO2 Edgardo Ilagan, PO3 Jonathan Cansanay, PO3 Christian Caguimbal, and PO3 Florencio Austria.

The murder case was filed before the Batangas provincial prosecutor's office on Monday, said Senior Superintendent Keith Singian, deputy director for operations of the CIDG.

He declined to identify the five policemen but said one of them had the rank of a Superintendent.

Morales was shot dead by arresting policemen in his home in San Juan, Batangas, on January 14. Policemen were serving an arrest warrant against Morales past midnight Monday when he allegedly fired at authorities prompting a "shootout."

But Morales' wife insisted that her husband did not fire back. 

Even Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II questioned why a group of 23 policemen were unable to restrain Morales and had to kill him.

A fact-finding investigation conducted by the CIDG revealed that excessive force was used by policemen in arresting Morales.

"Pandoy was taken from his room and was dragged downstairs to the kitchen," Singian said in an interview, adding that Morales was still in his underwear when he was arrested. Policemen then ordered him to wear pants as he was being dragged down the stairs.

The CIDG also found it questionable that the service of the arrest warrant was conducted at 1:30 a.m. and Morales was killed in a dark area.

Post-mortem examination revealed that Morales was shot six times, including three to the head. Two of the policemen charged used their personal firearms, a caliber 40 pistol, in shooting Morales.

Singian said that the five policemen charged with murder were those positively identified by witnesses, including Morales' wife, as those who dragged and shot Morales. Other members of the operating team will be facing administrative charges.