March 10, 2017
MANILA, Philippines – Efren Morillo, the lone survivor of a bloody drug raid in Barangay Payatas, has asked a Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court to reinvestigate and stop the proceedings of the direct assault case filed against him by the Quezon City Police District (QCPD).
The complaint against Morillo arose from the “Oplan Tokhang” operation of the QCPD Batasan police station at Area B in Barangay Payatas last August 21, when four policemen allegedly shot him and his four companions “execution-style.”
Despite being shot, Morillo was able to escape after playing dead.
On August 23 or two days after the incident, the QCPD Batasan police station led by Supt. Lito Patay filed a complaint charging Morillo of direct assault upon a person in authority.
Police claimed that Morillo and his companions allegedly drew their respective firearms and fired towards the cops, prompting the latter to merely retaliate.
In an omnibus motion filed before the QC MTC Branch 42 yesterday, Morillo, through his lawyers from the Roque and Butuyan Law Office, asked the court to reinvestigate the case since they discovered new evidence to negate the finding of direct assault.
He also said the case should be reinvestigated because the complainants withheld material evidence in their possession from the investigating prosecutor and the court.
Morillo further noted that the complainants “committed material and substantial procedural lapses in their investigation” that violated his rights.
He added that the Supreme Court resolution issuing the writ of amparo in favor of him contradicts the claim of direct assault by the complainants.
Morillo also appealed to the court to order the complainants to produce the material evidence they possess.
He said he has yet to be furnished with documents related to the operation, including copies of the results of the forensic examinations conducted by the QCPD Crime Laboratory Office.
“As the accused in this criminal case, Morillo has the right to obtain copies of the said documents,” as stated in the motion.
Since the reinvestigation and the production of the documents will take some time to be accomplished, Morillo said the court should suspend the proceedings and cancel the preliminary conference scheduled on March 27.
Last week, Morillo filed a complaint for murder, frustrated murder, robbery, and planting of drugs and firearms against Senior Inspector Emil Garcia, PO3 Allan Formilleza, PO1 James Aggarao, and PO1 Melchor Navisaga, who were formerly detailed with the QCPD Batasan police station, before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Also sued were their purported informants namely Lea Barcelona, Mary Joy Ralo, Lorie Barcelona, Richard Andan, and an alias “Manok,” who accompanied the police officers in the operation.
Morillo described as “blatant lie” the policemen’s claim that he and the four other victims fought back during the operation.
He said the autopsy reports showed that he and his companions were either sitting, kneeling or lying down, when they were shot at close range.
The filing of the suit at the Ombudsman comes a month after the Court of Appeals ruled on a petition filed by Morillo and the families of four other victims to issue a protection order keeping the police away from them.
The appellate court also ordered the police involved to be transferred to another station and to disclose any evidence against the suspects that led to the drug raid.
Morillo is the first known survivor of the “Oplan Tokhang” to win a court protection under the writ of amparo. – EAN