Cavite Police denies mauling claims, says suspect inflicted self-injuries in escape tries

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2020 08:56 AM

MANILA - The Cavite Police on Sunday belied claims that a quarantine violator was supposedly mauled by its officers, which has since gone viral on social media.

Col. Marlon Santos, director of the Cavite Provincial Police, said in a statement that Ronald Campo sustained self-injuries as he tried to escape several times from police custody in General Trias City last Wednesday.

Policemen "exhibited good faith by immediately bringing the suspect to the hospital for medical attention," he said.

"Statements from witnesses were also deemed clear that self-inflicting injuries have been sustained by Ronald Campo while escaping contrary to what is being circulated in the media that he was physically harmed by the Police Officers but by his actuations under the influence of liquor placed his own life in peril and danger," Santos said.

"Let us not be swayed by rush judgments based on emotions. Let us further look on the other side of the coin and see what is true based on evidence, facts and statements coming from the witnesses," he said, adding that the police will look into the incident further.

Two policemen have been relieved to make way for an impartial investigation, Santos said.

Malacañang earlier ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to probe the incident after it was reported that Campo, a factory worker, fractured his skull and suffered wounds all over his body in police detention.

The suspect's younger brother said Campo was arrested with other curfew violators last Tuesday night and brought to General Trias Town Plaza, according to a report by CNN Philippines.

Campo fell asleep after the violators were ordered to exercise as a form of penalty, he recalled in a video recording. He was awoken by a policeman and another man, and was brought to a dark area where he was allegedly beaten up.

Campo said he ran for his life and ended up in the house of an old man, where police cornered him and he lost consciousness.

ATTEMPTS TO ESCAPE

Campo was detained for violating the liquor ban and curfew, and having no quarantine pass in his possession, police said.

On his first attempt to escape, Campo had "accidentally slipped and bumped at the motorcycle parked near the station that caused his bruises and injuries on his arm and face," according to Santos.

He added that the suspect was brought back to the station but ran away and "fell on the pavement twice before he finally jumped over a creek with a knee deep muddy water" with broken bottles and garbage and "managed to disappear in darkness."

Campo also climbed a concrete fence topped with barbed wire and went to the roof of the house of a certain Jaime Mission where he fell to the ground, Santos said.

While running towards Mission's house, Campo grabbed a hostage who was supposedly armed with a long wood and struck him on the head several times, according to the provincial police chief.

"The suspect moved again to the fence and jumped over the adjacent residential property and later fell on the empty swimming pool. He was finally cornered and handcuffed by chasing policemen," Santos said.

The suspect tried again to escape twice as he was being brought to the police station, this time towards Barangays Vibora and Corregidor, but to no avail.

Campo also tripped on a rope installed as a barrier as part of a lockdown measure, Santos said.

"He tumbled down hardly causing his chest and face to smash on the pavement," he said.

"On that circumstance, suspect was not able to get up anymore. Immediately, policemen upon learning that the suspect obtained body injuries, they rushed the suspect to Gen. Trias Medicare Hospital."

Santos said the chief of Cavite Police's Internal Affairs Service conducted ocular inspection in the area and interviewed several individuals as part of their motu proprio investigation.