Police file murder complaint vs Davao doctor for death of medical student

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 04 July) – Police filed on Monday a murder complaint against Dr. Marvin Rey Andrew R. Pepino, a non-uniformed personnel of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Davao, after he allegedly shot dead a 19-year-old* medical student following a heated altercation in a bar here at around 12:50 a.m. Saturday.

Col. Albert Lupaz, director of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO), said during an interview at his office on Monday that the criminal complaint was received at around 8:30 by the Davao City Prosecution Office for determination of probable cause.

Once prosecutors find a probable cause, Pepino can be charged for murder before the Regional Trial Court.

Lupaz said that a complaint for illegal possession of firearms under Republic Act 10591, also known as the Comprehensive Firearms and Regulation Act, was also filed against the suspect.

He assured the family of the victim, Amir Mangacop, of an impartial investigation involving its own personnel.

Pepino was a doctor detailed at the hospital of the police regional headquarters in Catitipan, this city.

Lupaz said the suspect, who is currently under the custody of the San Pedro Police Station, interposed “self-defense” after he was allegedly mauled by a group of men after attempting to pacify the commotion between his outnumbered companions and the group of Mangacop at Lugar Bar located at Esquena de Tavera Building, Corner V. Mapa and J. Camus Extension Street.

“Allegedly, Dr. Pepino was mauled by a group of men. He was forced to fire his gun because he was outnumbered. The ones involved in the commotion were Pepino’s friends. He was just there to pacify,” the official said.

But Lupaz added that after Pepino was assaulted, the commotion further escalated, forcing the suspect to draw his gun that was tucked in his pants and shot one of the assailants.

Mangacop, who suffered seven gunshot wounds, was rushed to the Davao Doctors Hospital but was declared dead on arrival by attending physicians.

Asked what triggered the conflict between the parties, Lupaz said: “I have no time of knowing what happened there. What was reported is that it was a conflict involving Pepino’s friends that he tried to pacify but after it was pacified, another commotion broke out and the anger was directed at him.”

He said he saw no liability on the part of the responding one-man mobile patrol unit as he did his part to resolve the conflict. 

The shooting reportedly happened in the presence of PCpl. Ropel Garsalino of the San Pedro Police Station.

Lupaz said the incident started as a heated altercation that escalated into a shooting incident.

He said the police requested a copy of the CCTV footage of the shooting from the owner of the bar.

Lupaz said that Pepino “had no previous record of misconduct with the PRO-Davao.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

*This story updates the victim’s age, which was earlier reported to be 21 years old. Relatives said Amir was 19.