By JOEY NACALABAN
THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Wednesday said it was willing to help the family of murdered former Xavier University philosophy teacher Gexie Ray Ungab find justice even as it hinted of the possibility of an official investigation into the murder case even without the cooperation of the victim’s relatives.
Lawyer Patricio Bernales, regional director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), there are other ways to bring the killer or killers to justice even if the family concerned is not willing to press charges.
For one, he said, the local legislature could express outrage over the murder of Ungab and then call for a no-nonsense investigation into the murder of Ungab. A resolution, for instance, may be passed to formally ask National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde to order a through investigation into the murder case.
Bernales however said the investigation and case-building would be easier if the Ungab family decides to cooperate. If the Ungab’s family members change their mind, he said, the NBI is willing to help them.
“Mas kusog man gyud ang usa ka kaso kung naa gyuy hingtungdan nga manumbong,” Bernales said.
“If there is such an order [from Abayalde], then by all means we will follow that,” said Supt. Mardy Hortillosa, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office spokesperson.
Hortillosa however said it would still be difficult to make a case prosper without a complainant or a witness even if the killer or killers have been identified.
Ungab’s father Alexie earlier said his family made a collective decision not to file a case against the murder victim’s killer or killers because they did not want anymore trouble.
Police said the Ungab family has been bombarded with death threats since last weekend after the murder was discovered.
A lawyer, James Judith, said authorities can always opt to conduct a motu proprio investigation into the grisly murder of Ungab.
The NBI, he said, has the capability to do that. “Sila ang mag-lead sa imbestigasyon, and once they have the findings, they will submit it to the Department of Justice that, in turn, will assign a prosecutor to file the case,” Judith said.
He said the state can always intervene because Ungab’s murder does not concern only the victim’s family but “the people of the Philippines.”
Judith however said the cooperation of the victim’s family is still very important in order to win a conviction against the killer or killers because “for a criminal case to be strong, there must be a witness.”
The body of the 23-year-old Ungab was found dumped in Marawi City last week, days after he was reported missing by his father Alexie. The father said the victim told him he was attending a party and he dropped his son in Divisoria. The body showed signs of torture.