MANILA - The National Bureau of Investigation will look into the death of an 18-year-old man with autism who was allegedly killed in a "gun scuffle" in an illegal cockfighting site in Valenzuela City on Sunday, Mayor Rex Gatchalian said Tuesday.
NBI investigators will arrive at 1 p.m. Tuesday to talk to the family of Erwin Arnigo, whom police said was shot dead when he "grabbed the service firearm of one of the policemen" at the tupada site.
Arnigo's parents, however, said their son was shot in the Homeowners' office and was dragged into the tupada site, according to Mayor Rex Gatchalian.
"Ginigiit ng pamilya na meron silang witnesses na ang biktima ay wala sa vicinity ng patupada. Kundi nandoon malapit sa office ng homeowners' kung saan dinatnan ng pulis doon, dinamba or binear hug tapos binaril doon, then hiniila papunta doon sa tupada site," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(The family insists that they have witnesses who said the victim was not in the vicinity of the illegal cockfighting site. He was near the homeowners' officer where he was tackled by the police and shot dead, then dragged to the illegal cockfighting site.)
There was no reason to believe that the police operation was not legitimate, according to the mayor.
Helen, the victim's mother, said the police had prevented her husband and other children from rushing Erwin to the hospital.
"Matagal po talaga bago naitakbo dahil ang papa niya atsaka mga kapatid niya na pumunta doon hinarangan ng mga pulis na nagbaril sa anak ko. Wait lang daw po 'easy lang, easy lang.' Sumigaw ang anak ko 'kapatid ko po yan, special yan,'" she told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(It was long before he was brought to the hospital because the police barred his father and siblings who went there. They said to take it easy. One of my children said, 'that's my brother, he has special needs.')
"Kilala po yan dito sa Assumption na matulunging bata. Talagang tumutulong siya kahit walang kapalit po."
(My son is known in our village as a helpful child. He helps others without asking for anything in exchange.)
Helen also said she wants the shirt of her son found as she claimed that the police had taken it off after dragging him to the tupada site.
"Grabe ang ginawang krimen sa anak ko. Kinaladkad pa po nila malayo-layo po. Pagdating po sa tupadahan wala na pong damit ang anak kong pang-itaas. Ang nasa isip ko po ginawa nila yun dahil ang fingerprints nila nandun sa damit ng anak ko dahil ginawa nilang manok," she said.
(They did the worst crime to my son. They dragged him from afar. When he was seen at the illegal cockfighting site he did not have a shirt. I think it was because their fingerprints were on his clothes.)
"Binitbit nila papunta sa tupadahan na yun. Marami pong gusto tumulong sa amin kaso inaano nila paano nila masiguro na ang pamilya nila ay safe."
(They carried him to the illegal cockfighting site. There are many people who want to help us but they want to ensure their families would be safe.)
All policemen involved in the operation have been placed under restrictive custody of the Valenzuela chief of police, Gatchalian said.
Three others were arrested in the illegal cockfighting site, he added.