NBI probes death of ex-OFW under police custody
MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has begun its probe into the death of retired overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Allan Rafael under the custody of Manila police.
Manila Police District (MPD) head Chief Superintendent Rolando Anduyan confirmed this to Rappler by in a phone interview on Friday, August 10.
"The NBI is in coordination with our investigation unit," Anduyan said.
Which OFW? Cops detained former OFW Allan Rafael on August 2 for alleged breach of public peace and illegal drugs possession.
He was initially detained in the MPD Police Station 3, then transferred to a less cramped facility at the Barbosa Police Community Precinct after cops found out that he had just undergone chemotherapy, Anduyan said.
Rafael had a cooking job abroad but was forced in early retirement because he was diagnosed with cancer.
At around 6 am on August 6, cops said Rafael experienced "difficulty in breathing" and was brought to the Jose Reyes Memorial Hospital where he was declared dead.
Rafael's family, however, believed he was beaten to death like Genesis Argoncillo, a detainee who died while in police custody in June. Allan's brother, Aarun, said cops had him embalmed without the consent of a family member, and accused the police of deliberately hiding information.
Why this matters: Anduyan said he expected an independent NBI probe. He praised the development as it will ensure the implementation of the police's "zero-tolerance policy" on erring cops.
"With the NBI, we have an independent and impartial probe complementing our internal investigation," Anduyan said in a mix of English and Filipino.
The probe also highlights that authorities are not taking the death lightly, as the NBI is primarily mandated to look into high-profile crimes.
According to Anduyan, no cops have been put on preventive suspension despite the investigation as he was still waiting for the recommendation of the Barbosa Station police chief. – Rappler.com