Po­ran un­der wit­ness pro­tec­tion pro­gram

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - By Nes­tle L. Semilla RE­PORTER

THE woman sur­vivor of the Malubog shoot­ing in­ci­dent is now un­der the cus­tody of the wit­ness pro­tec­tion pro­gram of the Com­mis­sion on Hu­man Rights in Cen­tral Visayas (CHR-7).

Leo Vil­lar­ino, CHR-7 chief in­ves­ti­ga­tor, told CEBU DAILY NEWS that Shar­maine Po­ran has been un­der CHR’s cus­tody, since Thurs­day, or days af­ter she sought refuge at the Cebu Arch­bishop’s Palace.

Po­ran and her fam­ily had asked the help of the CHR-7 early morn­ing of Oct. 4 , hours af­ter the ex­e­cu­tion-style killings, in Barangay Malubog at the Cebu Tran­scen­tral High­way, as she feared for her life.

Po­ran, who es­caped the shoot­ing, claimed that the killings were per­pe­trated by po­lice­men.

Af­ter emerg­ing from the bushes, emer­gency re­spon­ders took her to the Cebu City Med­i­cal Cen­ter for treat­ment of her wounds and bruises. She was dis­charged from the hospi­tal two days later.

Vil­lar­ino re­fused to di­vulge fur­ther de­tails of the case ex­cept to say that Po­ran was de­ter­mined to file charges against those whom she be­lieved were re­spon­si­ble for the killings.

“The fil­ing of the case will be de­cided by our cen­tral of­fice. We also have to con­sider the side of the vic­tim and the risks in­volved in her pro­tec­tion,” said Vil­lar­ino.

Vil­lar­ino said that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was go­ing smoothly as they con­tin­ued to gather more ev­i­dence.

Vil­lar­ino also urged the other sur­vivor and eye wit­ness, ha­bal-ha­bal driver An­to­nio Be­lande, to visit their of­fice.

“We are still hope­ful that he (Be­lande) will re­al­ize that he needs to be in our cus­tody,” said Vil­lar­ino.

Al­though Be­lande’s fam­ily ini­tially sought the help of CHR-7, Be­lande in­stead went to the po­lice and was taken un­der their cus­tody.

Both Be­lande and Po­ran claimed that the five men who died in the car­nage were vic­tims of sal­vaging by po­lice of­fi­cers.

The vic­tims suf­fered gun­shot wounds in the dif­fer­ent parts of their body.

Three were found slumped on the ground be­side two mo­tor­cy­cles, while two oth­ers were in­side a white van.

Ac­cord­ing to the two wit­nesses, they were all brought to the hin­ter­land barangay, against their will, blind folded and hand­cuffed, af­ter a po­lice anti-drug op­er­a­tion.

CDN FILE PHOTO

Shar­maine Po­ran is es­corted by Hu­man Rights In­ves­ti­ga­tor Leo Vil­lar­ino as she is trans­ported on a wheel­chair from the Cebu City Med­i­cal Cen­ter to a wait­ing ERUF am­bu­lance in this Oct. 6, 2018 photo.

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