MANILA - Genesis "Tisoy" Argoncillo, who was detained for violating city ordinances, could not have been mauled to death by his cellmates as claimed by police, his sister said Friday.
Marilou Argoncillo, the 25-year-old's elder sister, also doubted the police's claim that her brother was detained for causing alarm and scandal.
She said one of Tisoy's guards told her that he was taken out of his cell and would be transferred to a different one.
"Ibig sabihin, kung nilabas nila, ibig sabihin sila mismong mga pulis na naka-bantay may ginawa din sila sa kapatid ko dahil nagwala daw sa labas daw nag-amok ang kapatid ko," she told DZMM radio.
(That means the officers who were guarding him did something to him because they said my brother caused a scene.)
Quezon City police had claimed that Tisoy probably died from suffocation while the police station commander's separately alleged that his death was "self-inflicted."
C/Supt. Joselito Esquivel, chief of the Quezon City police, later said investigators obtained statements from 3 inmates at the Novaliches police station that Tisoy died after he was mauled by fellow inmates.
Marilou said the officer she spoke with even pointed to a wall where Tisoy supposedly hit his head repeatedly like a madman, but if this were true, he should have only sustained concussions.
"Paano masiraan ng ulo ang kapatid ko na simula’s sapul nang pumasok siya dun, araw-araw bawat dalaw niya ay pinupuntahan ko siya? Hindi ko siya pinabayaan, hindi ko pinapakita sa kaniya para hindi siya ma-depress sa pinagdadaanan niya," she said.
(How could my brother lose his mind when ever since he was admitted, I would visit him and conceal what's happening so that he won't get depressed.)
"Sa walang kuwenta ang kaso na pinataw sa kaniya, dinanas niya yung ganiyan," she added.
(He suffered for such an inconsequential case.)
Marilou also questioned the basis for Tisoy's arrest, maintaining that her brother, though admittedly shirtless, was only watching videos on his phone in front of a store next to their house, waiting for his prepaid load to be credited.
The police station commander initially said Tisoy was arrested for alarm and scandal during "Oplan Galugad," where they go to the streets to check on people violating city ordinances.
Esquivel later said Tisoy was arrested because of the concerned citizen's report.
But Marilou said their neighbors would not call on the police if Tisoy indeed caused alarm and scandal and would instead approach barangay officials.
"Ang mga tao dito, pag once oras na ganun, mga 8 to 9, tahimik kami dito kasi ang mga tao focused sa palabas, ang mga tao nasa bahay lang talaga," she said.
(The people in our neighborhood are usually inside their homes at 8 to 9 pm to watch television shows.)
"Nabulahaw ang mga tao dito dahil sobrang dami nila na nagkalat ditong pulis, nanguha sila ng nakahubad, nakatambay, mga ilegal na palaro, mga video-karera. Yun ang mga dinampot nila," she added.
(The people were shocked to see that many police officers, picking up shirtless men, loiterers, those playing illegal games like video-karera. They accosted those.)
She said while Tisoy and their uncle were drinking then, it was only gin to help them fall asleep faster. She said her brother would often sleep shirtless because they only have a ceiling fan.
When the police collared Tisoy, she said they made him hold bottles of hard liquor outside the nearby store and took pictures as supposed evidence.
"Ang ginawa nila sa kapatid ko planted (They planted this on my brother)," said Marilou.
"Lahat kayong mga pulis ang nagpahamak sa buhay ng kapatid ko…Sana mabigyan ng hustisya ang pagkawala ng kapatid ko. Ninakaw nila ang buhay ng kapatid ko, binaboy nila ang katawan ng kapatid ko. Sobrang sakit sa amin," she added.
(All you cops endangered my brother's life...I hope he is given justice. They stole my brother's life, disrespected his body. It was so painful for us.)