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Direct challenge

Former president Duterte calls out DCPO over high-profile crime in the city


FORMER President Rodrigo Duterte challenged the Davao City Police Office to give the family of 28-year-old architect Vlanche Marie Bragas the swift justice they deserve. Otherwise, all its officers must step down. 

During his “Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa” program aired over SMNI channel on May 31, Duterte lamented that the perpetrator/s behind the rape and killing of the Bragas remained unidentified and free. 

He said that if the police officers are not up to the task, it’s better to leave the service and avoid wasting the salaries they receive.

He also warned that if any similar grisly crime occurred again, he would personally visit the police investigators so they could taste his wrath. 

The former city chief executive said he would never allow his son’s name, current Mayor Sebastian Duterte, to be tarnished. So, the police must give their “limitless effort” to solve the case to restore public confidence in security and safety.

He further said that if such cases were repeated, he would personally visit the police investigators to taste his brutality.

The Regional Police XI earlier created the Special Investigation Task Group Bragas following the discovery of the architect’s body on May 17. The group announced that it had five persons of interest in the case.

Major Catherine Dela Rey, the DCPO spokesperson, said the police are bound by operational procedures in handling persons of interest and suspects in a crime. They simply do not abduct anyone and force them into a confession. 

This was her response to reports of abductions and missing individuals reportedly involved in the case. 

Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte also announced a P1 million bounty for any information leading to the perpetrator/s’ arrest.

On May 27, Dennis Roy Pansan, 23, a Calinan resident, was allegedly abducted, taped, and hand-tied by unknown perpetrators. He escaped and sought refuge at the Matina Pangi Barangay Hall on May 29 but collapsed while being interviewed by the police. He later died on the way to the hospital. 

On the same day, grade 10 student Kent Laurence Espinosa was also reported missing and abducted by unknown individuals in Calinan. 

Police are investigating if the two incidents were connected. 

Davao City Police Office director Col Alberto Lupaz told TIMES in an interview on Wednesday morning that there were too many missing pieces to the puzzle, preventing them from completing the entire picture. However, they are pursuing all angles to give justice to the victim.


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