Baguio Cops Want Baguio Fiscals “Hands Off” From 7 Yr. Old Murder

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BAGUIO CITY (July 29, 2020) – Baguio policemen on Tuesday asked all state prosecutors here to inhibit from handling the 7 year old gruesome murder case last May.

Baguio City police director Col. Allen Co said they filed a motion for inhibition of the entire Baguio City prosecutors office in investigating the murder raps against a couple, from an influential family in Ifugao, who were accused of murdering their 7-year old nephew.

“There is a perceived partiality on the part of the handling prosecutor and the entire office,” declared Co.

The murder case was initially being investigated by Prosecutor Ruth Bernabe.   “However, without our knowledge and without being informed, or any motion for inhibition, the case was suddenly transferred to another prosecutor.”

Co, who had also called on journalists to help monitor the case to ensure justice is served, had been waiting for more than a month for the state prosecutors’ ruling on the case.

The 7 year old boy’s death could have easily “slipped” as suicide, if not with Baguio City cops’ diligent probe that found it was murder.

The startling details of physical abuse on the boy, who supposedly hanged himself on the window grills, prompted the police to file for murder and RA 7610 or the (law providing for strong deterrence and special protection against child abuse, exploitation and discrimination) against the boy’s auntie  Lolly Ann Dalipog and husband mid June.   An obstruction of justice suit was also lodged against Dalipog and two more relatives who helped sneak out the cadaver to Banaue, Ifugao.

The boy was rushed unconscious to the hospital from the Dalipogs’ apartment in barangay Ambiong on May 30, after Mrs. Dalipog, reportedly found him hanging from a window grill with a scarf looped around his neck.

The boy is the son of Mrs. Dalipog’s OFW sister.

Col. Co earlier said, “suspicion arose when investigators, who conducted a follow-up at the Notre Dame Hospital, and doctors, discovered bruises on different parts of the victim’s body,” prompting us to doubt Mrs. Dalipog’s statements.”

When cops pursued that the boy undergo autopsy examination “to rule out the possibility of foul play”, Mrs. Dalipog and her relatives refused, fueling suspicion prompting cops to launch an in-depth and full-blown criminal investigation.

Though initially agreeing for an autopsy on June 1, Mrs. Dalipog with the help of Marcelino Walang and Wenzel Duccog sneaked out the boy’s cadaver for a supposed June 4 burial but were flagged down along the Baguio-Nueva Vizcaya highway in Bokod, Benguet.    Mrs. Dalipog could not show policemen proper travel permits or medical certificate from Baguio.   The group was allowed to proceed “for humanitarian considerations” but not without a supposed executed undertaking to allow an autopsy.  “This undertaking, however, was just a trick to deceive the police officers because they later refused to honor (it) and insisted to bury the boy on June 4,” the Baguio City police director said, adding, “thus prompting us to seek the Baguio and Ifugao Prosecutor’s Office for an autopsy order”.

Ifugao provincial prosecutor Marvin Nangayawan directed an autopsy by the Baguio City police Crime Laboratory Office that revealed that boy was strangled, while all statements of Mrs. Dalipog were belied by witnesses, Co had claimed.  “It appeared that the spouses Dalipog tried to mislead (us) into believing that the incident is a case of suicide.”

Mrs. Dalipog’s husband—PAGASA- Baguio veteran state weather forecaster Efren Dalipog, whom Col. Co said, “would have been impossible not to know about the maltreatment”, has remained in Baguio City while his wife, is on quarantine in Ifugao.

Efren Dalipog is the younger brother of Ifugao governor Jerry Dalipog.

Baguio police so far has two witnesses to present at the trial Co said, including forensic evidences of the physical abuse the young boy suffered from his surrogate family.

Efforts to reach the couple, including the husband’s older brother – Ifugao governor Jerry Dalipog in June has remained futile.  ***Artemio A. Dumlao*