Wife of slain barangay chief cries foul over fatal raid

Mick Basa
Wife of slain barangay chief cries foul over fatal raid
Lenlen Caminade Guatno accuses the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Region 11 of shooting her husband before serving the search warrant

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The wife of a barangay captain killed in a police raid here on the eve of the village elections accused cops of failing to observe due process.

Lenlen Caminade Guatno made the complaint in a lengthy Facebook post on Tuesday, May 15. She was with her husband, Barangay Pangyan Chairman Antonio Guatno, when the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Region XI carried out the raid.

Mrs Guatno said that the members of the raiding team only presented the search warrant  after they shot the barangay captain. (READ: Davao City barangay captain killed in raid)

“It should not be like that. You should serve the warrant before you enter the house,” Mrs Guatno said in her post written in a mix of Cebuano and English, that had been shared several hundred times as of posting.

She said one of the members of the team explained that the warrant was on its way, as it was on the hands of another member. Later, the document was handed over to her, but there was no more point in receiving it because “they already shot my husband.”

The police did not continue serving the warrant, with one of them saying, “Just indicate there, ‘Refuses to receive the warrant.'”

Mrs Guatno recalled that she and her husband woke up to the sound of explosion around 4 am to 5 am on Sunday.

“We jumped out of our bed and went out of our room becase we thought a circuit exploded. Then my husband shouted, ‘What’s going on?'” she said.

Outside, she said, they heard someone shouting that they were cops and that the people inside the house should all lie flat on the floor. She said they did as they were told and crawled their way to the living room.

“Upon looking up, I saw lots of armed men inside the house,” Mrs Guatno said in Cebuano.

The wife’s account on the incident was similar to a police blotter submitted by their 22-year-old son, Dave Israel Caminade Guatno, at Calinan Police Station 10 on May 13.

However, Dave added that “they refused to signed” the search warrrant which came with an inventory that “did not reflect the true items taken by them from their house.”

Cash worth “P300,000.00” – supposedly belonging to his father – had gone missing after the raid, Dave added.

The late barangay chief was accused of violating Republic Act No. 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, which led to the issuance of the search warrant, said CIDG XI.

In an advisory Sunday, CIDG XI claimed that Guatno was shot because he “drew his pistol aimed at the raidingg team which prompted them to shoot the suspect.”

The barangay chief as declared him dead on arrival at the hospital.

Mrs Guatno maintained the innocence of her husband, saying he “is not a criminal”  and had devoted nearly his entire life serving the country as a soldier and a public official.

The death of the village chief sent shockwaves through his barangay on Sunday, the eve of the barangay elections.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, a friend of the slain official, was saddened by the news. In January, Guatno completed a 6-month intensive program for drug reformists under a program of the Davao City government.

“He live a complicated life. Not just with drugs. May he rest in peace,” the mayor told Rappler.

Guatno’s source of troubles was not his previous links to illegal drugs, according to Davao City Police Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum.

In a previous media interview, Tagum alleged the Pangyan village captain supported communist rebels  by allowing the New People’s Army to hide firearms at his house. – Rappler.com

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