By JOEY NACALABAN
and SHIELA MAE BUTLIG
THE chief of police of Manticao town yesterday claimed he tried to talk the family of the 21-year-old trisikad driver who was shot and killed by officers in an alleged buy-and-bust operation to allow an autopsy but they refused.
“I tried to convince the parents and siblings to have the body of their dead autopsied but they refused,” said Senior Insp. Marlon Lanioso, Manticao police chief, regarding the shooting death of Lermie Lunas (not Lurme as earlier reported).
Police claimed Lunas, the first recorded fatality since the police resumed “Oplan Tokhang” in Misamis Oriental, was shot to death after he allegedly fought back during a buy-and-bust operation inside a public cemetery in Manticao on Saturday.
Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Emano called for an investigation into the killing of Lunas to make sure that what happened on Saturday was a legitimate police operation.
Emano said he was against extrajudicial killings and authorities should always operate within the bounds of law.
He said the capitol has sent a team to locate Lunas’s family and offer assistance to them. He said the capitol could provide a free coffin, mortuary services and transportation.
Insp. Arlyne Ranario, spokesperson of the provincial police office, confirmed that the Lunas family signed a waiver against an autopsy.
Ranario said it was the family that submitted the waiver to the police.
She said the officers who shot and killed Lunas were not mistaken, pointing out that the lowly trisikad driver had been subjected to a month-long surveillance by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the police.
Ranario said the trisikad driver made money selling drugs, and the suspect took out a revolver when officers came to arrest him in the cemetery.
Supt. Lemuel Gonda, Camp Alagar spokesman, said the police office in the region were still waiting for an official report on Lunas’s death from the Manticao police.
“We will check on it and find out why there was a sudden signing of a waiver. Anyway, we have an investigative unit that would focus on the incident,” Gonda said.
He said an autopsy report could be used as evidence in the event that a case reaches the court.