But Davao Death Squad gunmen remains faceless
By ROGER M. BALANZA
If nobody wants to stand up in this city to point a finger at Davao Death Squad gunmen, let surveillance cameras do the work.
LOOKING FOR THE DAVAO DEATH SQUAD. Sr. Supt. Ramon Apolinario, director of the Davao City Police Office, updates reporters on the investigation into the killing of a government employee last Wednesday during the forum at Task Force Davao headquarters in Sta Ana wharf. Joining him are Col. Oscar Lactao, TF commander, Col. Lysander Suerte, chief of staff of the 10th ID and Sr. Supt. Jose Jorge Corpuz of the police regional command. EDGAR ARRO
This is the general public comment here as a video camera documented the shooting to death of a city government worker, a first as several villages here set up closed circuit television (CCTV) system as part of anti-criminality campaign. Observers said the CCTVs could be the most effective tool against the death squad said to be behind summary killings of more than 1000 people since 1998.
Chris Antohony Togle, 48, was Wednesday ambushed by two gunmen around 10:45 PM in Agdao district in front of the Wilfrefo Aquino Barangay Hall. He was driving a motorcycle at the corner of Tancontian and Bulcan streets when one of two men also on a motorbike pumped six bullets into the body. Togle, even as he was wounded, pulled out his own .45 and fired at his assassins. He apparently missed as they duo fled the scene. Togel died an hour later at the government Davao Medical Center. An errant shot from Togle found its target on a boy asleep on a house near the scene. The boy a minor sustained minor wounds in the hand and feet.
The shooting was captured by the CCTC installed at the barangay hall. Barangay captain Leo Aquino said the system—that included 16 cameras installed in critical points of the barangay—operates on a 24-hour basis.
Police recovered the gun of Togle, a .45 cal. pistol with serial number HM45931, two magazines and 13 bullets at the scene of shooting.
Also captured on video Olomodin Mualam, who took a .357 revolver at the scene. Police in follow-up operations arrested Mualam and recovered the gun also owned by Togle.
Senior Inspector Ranulfo Cabanog, Sta. Ana police chief, said video could be a key to the identity of the gunmen, even as they wore helmets.
Cabanog said the video image was poor but would be enough to establish the profile of the gunmen.
“We are still establishing the profile of the victim. Amo sab pangitaan og paagi nga maklaro ang video kay dili kaayo maklaro ang nawong sa mga suspects,” Cabanog said.
Marcelino Escalada Jr., the acting planning officer at the Davao City Hall, confimed Togle worked in his office as part of monitoring team of the urban land reform program of the city government.
As captured on video, Togle, 10:43:20 p.m., Togle aboard a motorcycle is seen on the lower right corner of the frame being followed by two men on board another motorcycle.
10:43.25, the passenger of the motorcycle following toggle pulled out a gun and fires at Togle. The victim falls on the ground losing control of the motorcycle.
The gunmen saw Togle still alive and stopped their motorcycle. One of them approaches Togle and unleashed more rounds, but Togle fires back. The gunman continues to pull the trigger as he retreats.
The last frames should the gunman fleeing while his companion pushing his motorcycle as Togle continued to fire his .45.
At 10:43.56, Togle is seen wobbling and trying to stand up and walking out of the camera range.
Police said the killers could have used an Intratec KG9 machine pistol, an expensive high-end gun, in the attack. Police said the gunmen fired 19 times at Togle, who himself fired 18 shots at the gunmen.
Togle’s wife Marilou begged public assumption her husband was a member of the DDS or that he was killed by the shadowy gunmen whose killing spree is now being probed by the Commission on Human Rights.