Family searches for answer after man dies in police custody

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 07 2017 07:05 AM

Photo courtesy of Councilor Teodyver Arquiza

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Eduardo Serino went to Zamboanga City to look after his son who got involved in an accident.

A dedicated father, he stayed by his son's side and hadn't slept for days in the hospital.

Because they couldn't afford to pay the medical bills, Serino of Barangay Lintangan, Sibuco, Zamboanga Del Norte went outside to look for money.

While walking along RT Lim Boulevard, he was asked by police officers to open his backpack for inspection.

He refused. He was arrested. Two days later, he died, his family learned.

His common-law wife Felina Bana-ag is now searching for answers on what happened to Serino.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Bana-ag said they saw contusions in different parts of Serino's body.

A Facebook post of the incident uploaded by a certain Rosherl Taburnal Lumpapac has now gone viral. It has been shared more than 66,000 times and earned a lot of negative reactions from netizens.

The photos showed a bruised Serino who was in handcuffs being put to the ground by four police officers. The incident took place last Sept. 30.

The Regional Investigation and Management Division of Police Regional Office 9 has launched an investigation into the incident.

Senior Supt. Neri Vincent Ignacio, acting director of Zamboanga City Police Office, said Serino who hurt himself.

He said Serino allegedly hit his head against the wall and slapped his own face.

Serino even allegedly tried to stab a policewoman with a barbecue stick.

One of the detainees, in a separate interview, said Serino went wild and tried to pull a live wire in the detention area.

In an earlier report, Serino reportedly refused to open his bag for inspection when he tried to enter an enclosed area in the boulevard, which was celebrating the Hermosa festival.

While in police custody, Serino reportedly struggled and was restrained several times. He was brought to the hospital, but died later.

The family of Serino has agreed to let authorities re-examine the victim's cadaver to learn the cause of his death. - report from Leizel Lacastesantos, ABS-CBN News