SouthCot couple victims of DDS?

Senior Supt. Efren Saliganan, South Cotabato police director, said the couple and six other persons were allegedly seized by unidentified armed men later that day near Gaisano Mall along Ilustre Street in Davao City.

He said Ramil, 32, was found dead the next day along with another man in Indangan in the city’s Buhangin district.

Saliganan said Ramil and the other victim were both hogtied and their faces covered with packaging tapes when they were found.

Edelisa is still missing as of this morning.

Ronnie Daguat, Ramil’s cousin, told reporters they first learned that the couple went missing late in the evening last Aug. 18 through a text message sent by Edelisa’s sister who is based in this city.

The information was reportedly relayed by another sister who is based in Davao City.

Daguat said nothing was heard again from them until the next day when another text message came, citing Ramil was found dead that morning.

“(Ramil) was salvaged (summarily executed). He was barely recognizable when his body was found,” said Daguat, citing a police report from Davao City.

He said they fear that Ramil’s wife also suffered the same fate.

Two women were also found dead in Matina that day but Edelisa was not among them. The victims were reported to be residents of Pagadian City and Zamboanga Sibugay.

Daguat said police investigators handling the case initially told them that they have yet to establish the possible motive of the killing.

But he said the Davao City police office had already cleared Ramil of any criminal record.

Daguat said they tried to retrieve Ramil’s body from the Angel Funeral Homes in Davao City last Monday but they decided to call it off after reports came out that he was allegedly summarily executed by the Davao Death Squad (DDS).

He said the couple was reportedly suspected by the group, which was tagged behind the string of summary killings in the area for years, as pickpockets.

“That’s a big mistake. They have no record of any involvement in such kind of activity,” Daguat said.

He said the couple was known to be quiet and friendly at their neighborhood in barangay Cabuling in Tantangan.

Saliganan said they already coordinated with the Davao City police office to look into the killing of Ramil and help find the missing Edelisa.

He refused to speculate on the motive and the involvement of a death squad in the killing.

Saliganan, who was personally asked by the Tejano family to intervene on the matter, said he has coordinated with the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office to facilitate the immediate retrieval of Ramil’s body.

“We are appealing to Davao City officials and police authorities to shed light on this matter because the couple was innocent and were just victims of a senseless crime,” he said.

Daguat added that the Tejano family is planning to seek the help of other law enforcement agencies to help investigate the incident and possibly locate Ramil’s missing wife.(Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)