MANILA - Convicted car theft Raymond Dominguez was found lifeless in his cell at the maximum security compound of the New Bilibid Prison, a spokesman said Friday.
Dominguez was found unresponsive around 6:20 am, Bureau of Corrections spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag told ABS-CBN News.
Chaclag said the high profile inmate’s death appeared to be due to natural causes, and that there was no sign of foul play.
“It appears na natural cause of death ang kanyang pagkamatay, pending official report of death from medicolegal personnel. Walang nakitang foul play,” Chaclag said.
“'Pag undetermined ang cause of death ay kailangan full investigation report. Nirerequire natin 'yan for every case.”
Dominguez had contracted COVID-19 twice last year but recovered, the spokesperson added.
“Dalawang beses nga eh na nag-ano (positive) ‘yun, pero nakarecover siya. May mga underlying na sakit ‘yun eh. Palaging dinadala sa ospital ‘yun. Meron din siyang asthma,” Chaclag said.
“Andami niyang ailments. Hypertension, diabetes, hindi rin nakakagalaw nang husto, arthritis. Nitong umaga, he was scheduled to have his bed chemistry examination in the hospital. Kaya nga paggising sa kanya para sa preparation niya sa blood chem. Hindi na nangyari ang blood chem kasi he was found dead this morning,” he added.
Dominguez and his brother, Roger, were accused in the killings of car dealers Venson Evangelista and Emerson Lozano in 2011. Venson is the son of Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption president Arsenio “Boy” Evangelista.
Evangelista described Dominguez’s cause of death as “sketchy.”
“Firsthand info ko is namatay nga, nakitang lifeless, but still, it is very sketchy, malabo, kasi hindi naman natin alam kung it’s an act of God or an act of man,” he told ABS-CBN News in a Zoom interview.
“Ako, bilang ama at presidente ng VACC, we embrace truth and justice. Ang gusto namin malaman ay ang katotohanan. Ano ba ang nangyari at ano ang cause of death? We need to know. Transparency should always be present, lalo sa pangyayaring ito.”
Ten years after Venson’s death, the older Evangelista said their family is still grieving and crying for justice.
“I am somehow emotional kasi last January is the 10th year death anniversary of my son. Ang akin lang, after ten years, the family is still grieving and crying for justice. That’s why we embrace yung one criminal justice sa atin, kung saan 10 years na akong pushing the legal battle sa courts. Nadidrain na ako physically, financially. It’s a ten-year battle at wala pang resolution,” Evangelista said.
“Kami hindi rin kami makapagpatawad kasi wala namang humihingi ng tawad sa aming pamilya. The family is still crying and grieving until now. Ang anak ko, hindi ko naman pinalaki para sunugin at barilin niyo sa ulo, walang kalaban-laban. Naghahanapbuhay lang kaming mag-ama. Ang sakit,” he added.
[We haven't forgiven anyone because nobody asked for forgiveness. I raised my son well and he did not deserve to be helplessly burned and brutally shot on the head. We were just making a living. This is too painful.]
Aside from Dominguez, three more inmates at the NBP died on Friday.
“Sa amin lang, normally may mga namamatay every day... Apat ang reported deaths na nareceive ko (today). Usually wala namang violence, walang namatay sa saksak or by accident. Puro sila natural deaths,” Chaclag explained.
FROM THE ARCHIVES