Issue of September 6, 2009
Mt. Province
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Council seeks full probe on death of SLU student
by Harley Palangchao

A city councilor filed a proposed resolution requesting concerned officers of the Baguio City Police Office and the City Social Welfare and Development Office to shed light on the stabbing to death of 14-year-old high school student Justin Ross Glynn Batad Santos last Aug. 20. 

This, even as councilor Erdolfo Balajadia also suggested that the city council will conduct an investigation in aid of legislation to determine if lapses were committed in the handling of the initial investigation which led to the release of the suspect and possible accomplices.

Balajadia said information reaching him revealed the suspect was released on the ground of lack of witnesses, which is just stone’s throw away from a police station along Harrison Road. 

The councilor, who is a former city chief prosecutor, added that there were witnesses to the stabbing incident whose statements were not taken for some reason or the other while the statement of the assailant was taken in the presence of his parents and a lawyer. 

He said the lawyer who accompanied the suspect is a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippine Baguio-Benguet Chapter and is also being asked to appear before the city council. 

“The assailant is above 15 years old but below 18 years old who apparently acted with discernment and therefore criminally liable under our criminal laws,” Balajadia said.  

The official said an inquiry in aid of legislation is necessary to be conducted by the city council in order to adopt measures that will minimize if not eradicate the defects in the handling of similar cases in the future in order to protect the constituents of Baguio from suffering the same incident. 

“In order to plug these apparent gaps and lapses so that appropriate legislative remedies could be taken, the following personalities should be invited bringing with them any records of their investigation that they may have if there be any,” Balajadia said.  

Sources, meanwhile, said there are already witnesses who are willing to issue statements while lawyer Rigoberto Gallardo volunteered as legal counsel for the family of the victim.

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