Kin of victim, suspect deny cops’ story
MANILA, Philippines — A teenager was killed in an apparent gang war in Tondo, Manila on Wednesday night, police reported.
The families of the victim and his alleged killer denied that a riot occurred, citing witnesses who saw Aldrin Lacaba, 18, gunned down by motorcycle-riding assailants.
According to a report by the Manila Police District (MPD) Station 1, Lacaba was shot dead in a riot that erupted at around midnight in front of a gasoline station along Jacinto street in Barangay 105.
Police officers said they were patrolling the area when they heard a gunshot followed by the sound of people running.
They said they arrested a 17-year-old whom they accused of carrying an improvised handgun.
Lacaba was taken to Gat Andres Bonifacio Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.
The suspect and victim’s kin have a different version of the incident.
In a phone interview with The STAR, Lacaba’s mother Rodhora said witnesses denied that a riot happened in Tondo that night. The witnesses are afraid to give their testimony for fear of retaliation.
Rodhora said she has been looking for closed-circuit television footage of the incident, but to no avail.
“Hindi po totoo. Walang rambol na nangyari (It’s not true. No rumble happened),” Rodhora said.
She later stopped the interview, asking for time to let her son’s death sink in. “Hindi ko na alam (I don’t know anymore),” she said.
The suspect’s sister, Grace, also told The STAR that she saw her brother leaving the house to check on their friend, who was shot and rushed to the hospital.
She denied that a riot involving her brother and Lacaba occurred.
As they were heading home from the hospital, police apprehended the boy and accused him of owning the improvised firearm that killed Lacaba, Grace said.
She said police officers, whom she did not name, pointed guns at them as they arrested her brother.
“Dinampot po kami ng pulis. Niyakap ko ng mahigpit yung kapatid ko kasi po yung pulis po tinutukan po kami. Natakot po ako, sabi ko po maawa po kayo sa kapatid ko (They picked us up. I hugged my brother because the police were pointing guns at us. I was scared, I told them to have mercy on my brother),” she said.
Grace said she kept watch over her brother overnight at the youth detention center to keep him safe.