DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 July) – A forensic team from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-Davao exhumed on Tuesday the remains of 19-year-old Amierkhan Mangacop, the Grade 9 student who was killed in a shooting incident at a bar in Davao City last July 2.
The legal team of the Mangacop family confirmed on Tuesday that the victim’s family consented to the exhumation to allow personnel of NBI-Davao to perform an autopsy on his cadaver than 10 days after his death.
Hours after the incident, the victim’s remains were laid to rest in his hometown in Maguindanao province.
The legal team said that the family requested for an autopsy after a series of consultations with them and the elders of the Mangacop clan.
The team said that the family members were hesitant to give their consent to the exhumation due to their religious and cultural beliefs, but added that they later on agreed for an autopsy to aid the investigation “in the quest for justice” for the murdered victim.
At 12:50 a.m. of July 2, Dr. Marvin Rey Andrew R. Pepino, 31, a physician at the Camp Sgt. Quintin M. Merecido Hospital at the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Davao, allegedly shot the victim seven times following a heated altercation at Lugar Café and Bar at Corner V. Mapa and J. Camus Extension Streets.
Juhary Guro, investigating agent of NBI-Davao, said in an interview over DXDC 621 RMN Davao that the forensic team was deployed on Monday shortly after conducting a reenactment of the incident in the presence of their witnesses.
He said they are gathering more testimonies and affidavits from witnesses to support their evidence.
NBI-Davao started its own investigation after a receiving an order from the Office of the City Prosecutor last July 6, directing all investigating units, including NBI-Davao, to submit additional evidence within 10 days upon the request of the Mangacop family who questioned the regularity of the investigation conducted by the police of an incident involving its own personnel.
Pepino is the son of the late Maj. Gen. Marvin Manuel Pepino, who served as director of the Cybercrime Investigation Office of the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center.
Based on the police’s initial investigation, Pepino was only acting in self-defense when he shot his pistol at Mangacop after he was outnumbered and mauled by his assailants.
But the counsel of the Mangacop family questioned what they called as erroneous finding of “self-defense” as the suspect was the unlawful aggressor, not the victim.
Atty. Gibb Andrew Cabahug, the counsel for the Mangacop family, said in a press conference on Friday that the police portrayed Pepino as the “victim” of the incident.
He said Pepino was the unlawful aggressor, not Amierkhan, and that the suspect was not there to pacify the commotion contrary to the claims of police authorities.
Cabahug said Pepino could not invoke self-defense as the aggression was inflicted upon the person of the victim and his cousins.
“How can you deescalate the situation if you are angry? Marvin Pepino, during these times, was very angry. He was shouting at the victim and his cousins, ‘Sino kayo? May ari kaayo ng shop?’ (Who are you? Are you the owner of this shop?) Is that the kind of person whose intention was merely to pacify,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)