MANILA -- A policeman was arrested Friday evening after he introduced himself as a member of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) during the wake of slain Ozamis robbery gang leader Ricky Cadavero.
Cadavero was killed in an alleged encounter with police in Laguna last Monday.
The man looked for Cadavero's mother, Luzviminda, and told her that he needs to interview her.
But she refused and passed the interview to her daughter, Rosalinda.
Rosalinda, however, said she felt confused when she was told that a CHR member just came and wanted to talk to her when in fact, the officer-in-charge of the CHR and officers of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) were already present at the funeral home hours ago.
The man also wanted to talk to her outside the funeral home.
"Sabi niya, 'taga-human rights ako.' Nandito sila sa loob, nandito rin NBI, sabi ko. Sige, kung taga-human rights ka, ipakita mo ID mo," Rosalinda said.
The man could not show any identification card.
The NBI confiscated a 9-millimeter pistol from the man who later introduced himself as PO3 Richard Ecleo Ebrada, a member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) counter-intelligence group.
When confronted by officials, Ebreo said he was mandated by General Abelardo Villacorta to get the contact information of Cadavero's sister.
Special Investigator 4 Rizaldy Rivera of the NBI's death investigation division said, "They were just after the number ni Rosalinda allegedly to ask from her kung sino ang members ng PNP na involved kay Cadavero."
"We do not want that private individual or institutions try to sabotage our investigations. We do not want them na takutin ang complainants or relatives of victims... There's something there, hindi tama na kunin mo ang contact number without properly identifying yourself," said Chief Ferdinand Lavin, designated spokesperson of the NBI's Task Force Cadavero.
Cadavero's family, meanwhile, said they are already afraid, noting that this was the second time that a police officer tried to talk to them.
Aside from this, an unknown man came to the wake last Wednesday and introduced himself as an NBI agent. The man wanted to get Cadavero's mother.
The NBI said the man was not from their agency.
"May dala palang baril 'yun, pano kung nabaril kami?" Luzviminda said.
Ebrada is currently detained at the NBI headquarters for investigation.
He will be facing usurpation of authority charges.
Meanwhile, Cadavero's body was transferred to his hometown in General Santos City Saturday morning.