Family demands justice for murder of 19-year-old student

THE FAMILY of a 19-year-old grade 9 student who was shot dead by a medic assigned to the Davao Regional Police Bureau is demanding justice for the murder.

Photo on law firm Unplash Tingey Injury.

On the “Justice for Amier Mangacop” Facebook page, the post states that 19-year-old student Amierkhan Pulalon Mangacop (contrary to some reports saying he was 21) was shot dead seven times outside the Lugar Café and Bar, apparently by Marvin Rey Andrew. R. Pepino, the 31-year-old non-uniformed personnel working as a medic at the Regional Police Bureau (PRO)-Davao.

“Amier and his cousins ​​were sleeping at their aunt’s house in Davao City when his cousin called and asked to be picked up from Lugar Cafe and Bar at the corner of Tavera and V. Mapa streets. As the good and loving cousin that he was, he immediately complied…not knowing what fate awaited him there,” the post said.

“Contrary to reports that these young people were all drunk or stoned, they were just at home sleeping.

“They weren’t drinking and certainly weren’t on drugs. On the contrary; Dr. Marvin Pepino, son of a PNP general, brought a gun and was drinking in a public place.

The student arrived in the middle of a fight outside the bar.

“Dr. Pepino went to a bar for a drink and brought his gun with him. So even if Amier wasn’t there that night; someone could still have been killed – it could have been the cousin, the son someone else, or worse, seven people could have been killed by the seven bullets fired. We all know that guns and alcohol are a deadly combination,” he added.

The victim’s family posted several questions:

1. Are PNP staff allowed to drink inside the bars? If we are not mistaken, following the directive of former President Rodrigo Duterte in January 2019, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año directed the Philippine National Police, through an administrative circular, to ensure that cops conduct themselves professionally in public, prohibiting them from drinking in bars, nightclubs, and other public places.

2. Are gun owners allowed to bring their guns anywhere and everywhere, especially to bars, nightclubs and other public drinking places? Or are our bars slowly becoming like the schools of America?

3. Are firearms allowed inside the Lugar Café and Bar? What are their security checks for?

“Amierkhan was kind, obedient and a loving son. He had no vice; he disliked drinking alcohol and hated the smell of cigarette smoke. That’s why he was just at home sleeping that tireless day, if his cousin hadn’t asked to be picked up at the said bar.

“Amierkhan finished second in a series of six. He had many beautiful dreams for himself and his family.

“He loved tinkering and fixing cars and dreamed that one day he would be able to build his own car detailing and repair shop. But that dream will remain a dream…forever,” the statement added.

The suspect is currently being held at the San Pedro Police Station pending filing of a proper case.

During a recent press conference, the city’s director of police, Colonel Alberto Lupaz, revealed that they had prepared a murder charge against Pepino. However, to date, there have been no investigative proceedings as the suspect has requested a preliminary investigation into the case.

A preliminary investigation is required to determine probable cause.

Lupaz added that Pepino will also face a charge under Sect. 31 of RA10591 (Illegal possession of firearms) as he does not have a license to carry firearms outside the residence (PTCFOR).

In addition to criminal liability, the Regional Investigation and Detection Management Division (RIDM) is also conducting a parallel investigation against the suspect for administrative liability.

He said the division will eventually release the results of its investigation in two weeks and that his liability amounts to a discharge from service.