Poran under witness protection program
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.
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.