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Lamitan residents want deeper probe on police brutality victims

 • 01:06 AM Wed Jan 6, 2016
John Unson
Police brutality victim Semi Muallamin, 22, of Lamitan City, now undergoing medication at a hospital in Zamboanga City. (John Unson)

COTABATO CITY ---- Folks want a deeper probe on the real background of the two men brutally attacked with a baseball bat by a police officer in a bizarre incident on January 1 in Lamitan City. The victims, Semi Muallamin and Raspid Usman, were intercepted by policemen roaming in Lamitan City on board a motorcycle, along with two other still unidentified bikers, between 2:30 to 3and00 a.m. on January 1.The whereabouts and identities of the other motorcycle-riding men, one of them carrying a knapsack bag, remained unknown.Local officials in Lamitan City said instead of pulling over for a routine inspection, the two men tried to elude, but were eventually cornered by policemen.Sources from Lamitan City said Inspector Mark Glen Molina, deputy police chief of Lamitan City, had been relieved from his post for beating the two men with a baseball bat while undergoing interrogation. He should answer for his actions if he erred. There is, however, a need to dig deeper and find out what could be in the bottom of that incident. We are not taking sides, we want closure beneficial to all,” Lamitan City Vice-Mayor Roderick Furigay said Tuesday.Among those irked by Molina’s misbehavior was Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, who had ordered ARMM’s police director, Chief Supt. Ronald Estilles, to file administrative charges against the police lieutenant.Furigay said while they do not condone the police brutality incident involving Molina, there is a need to investigate deeper on the real persona of the two men he had hurt with an extreme force.Members of the police team in Lamitan City said the two men first misled investigators on the whereabouts of their companions riding a separate motorcycle. They led us to four different houses one at a time. The owners of the houses did not even know them. We even had to apologize for disturbing the people in the houses,” a policeman told the and// via mobile phone.The reluctance of the two men to identify their companions and the trouble they had caused reportedly irked Molina, who went berserk and repeatedly hit them one after another with a baseball bat. We do not deny there was this police brutality incident. Let justice prevail on that,” Furigay said.Furigay said most of his constituents are convinced the still unidentified missing men, whose exact identities the victims tried to hide from investigators, could be terrorists. There is this question on who those men were. Now they can’t be found. Apparently they managed to escape,” he said.The police in Lamitan City had confirmed having received tips on possible bomb attacks from confidential informants prior to the incident.Besides Molina, three other members of the Lamitan City police, PO3 Julasiri Muhiddini, PO2 Mohammad Lacpao and PO1 Ibrahim Mamantar, have also been relieved from their posts in connection with the controversy.

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