THE Commission on Human Rights (CHR) exhumed on March 1 and conducted an autopsy on the remains of a militiaman who was killed a few months ago in Siaton, Negros Oriental, by a group of armed men initially identified as New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.
CHR-Negros Oriental special field investigator and provincial chief Jess Cañete said the exhumation and autopsy were done at the Siaton cemetery, where the body of the late Gelino Vailoces is buried.
A forensics team from the CHR central office, headed by Dr. Ludivino Lagat, performed the autopsy of Vailoces in support of an investigation that the local CHR office, headed by Cañete, is undertaking.
Vailoces, 52, a resident of Sitio Ondol, Barangay Talalak in the municipality of Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental, was a member of the Special Civilian Armed Auxiliary (SCAA) assigned to the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ 12th Infantry Battalion based in Siaton town, about an hour’s drive south of Dumaguete City.
In the morning of November 13, 2017, more or less 30 armed men allegedly abducted Vailoces from his residence in Talalak, Sta. Catalina, a town adjacent to Siaton, a police report stated.
Vailoces’ lifeless body, which sustained gunshot wounds, was found later that day, about 1.5 kilometers from the Cuadra detachment, in Sitio Budlis, Barangay Mantiquil. The body was brought to the Siaton District Hospital.
CHR special investigator Jess Cañete said the family of Vailoces earlier asked him to conduct an investigation on the death of the militiaman.
He said even Army personnel had requested the same.
Cañete clarified that pending investigation, his office would not want to name names, and thus declined to comment that the alleged perpetrators were NPA members, despite pronouncements by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army.
He said it took awhile for the exhumation and autopsy as this depends on the availability of the forensics team from the CHR main office.
The same team also performed an autopsy Monday afternoon, February 26, in Dumaguete City on the cadaver of Police Officer 2 Roderick Maquinta, who was killed by police officers in January during a drug bust.
Maquinta was dropped from the PNP roster and was tagged by the police as allegedly engaged in the illegal drug trade. (PNA)