A 45-year-old barangay kagawad (village councilman) in Buhi, Camarines Sur, was shot to death after around 30 policemen stormed his house supposedly in search of illegal firearms, the kagawad's family said.
The family said Froilan Oaferina III, kagawad of Barangay Tambo in Buhi, was killed by police inside his own house around 6:59 pm on Sunday, April 25.
Speaking to Rappler on the phone, Camarines Sur police chief Police Colonel Bernardo Perez confirmed Oaferina’s death but declined to provide details. The police chief said the investigation is still ongoing.
Oaferina’s family, in an interview with Rappler on Monday, April 26, narrated how their peaceful Sunday night turned out to be one of their worst nightmares.
According to Nico, Oaferina’s son, around 30 armed policemen alighted from 3 vehicles and went straight to their house around 6:30 pm.
Oaferina and his staff were inside their house. When the police entered, the staff ran to the kitchen, while Oaferina was told to lie face down on the floor.
Afterwards, the victim was brought to the poorly-lit kitchen area and exclaimed, “Sir, ‘wag ‘nyo po ako dalhin sa madilim, Sir. D’un po tayo sa maliwanag, Sir. D’un ‘nyo na po ako arestuhin. ‘Wag niyo naman po akong anuhin.” (Sir, don’t bring me to the darker part. Let’s go to the brighter areas, sir. Arrest me there. Don’t hurt me.)
Oaferina tried to call the name of his son and sibling. The police turned off the lights and gunshots were heard, according to Nico.
The victim’s family was also barred from entering their house for about 3 hours. According to Nico, the police initially did not present a search warrant.
But 3 hours after the incident, Buhi police arrived with a search warrant for illegal possession of firearms – a usual charge filed against activists arrested and killed in the course of the government’s crackdown against progressive leaders.
Nico added that when they entered their house, they saw the lifeless body of their father lying on the floor without a gun. But to their surprise, the police operatives claimed they found a gun in the crime scene.
They also noticed that their broken CCTVs were tilted upwards after the incident. A phone, tablet, and cash worth P100,000 were also missing, according to Nico.
According to Eda, Oaferina’s cousin, the victim had no records with the police and was a very helpful public servant.
Nico, meanwhile, called for justice. “Gusto po namin ng hustisya. Hindi po makatarungan ang pagpatay nila sa papa ko. Mabait na tao siya, wala siyang baril (We want justice. It is not right that my father was killed. He was a good person, he had no gun),” Nico said.
The country has been plagued by killings of activists and even public servants. Oaferina is the latest elective official killed under the watch of President Rodrigo Duterte.
On April 13, Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President Renzo Matienzo of Lumban, Laguna was shot dead by unidentified assailants inside his house.