NBI 7 to secure affidavits of witnesses in boy’s shooting

THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 invited the seven witnesses who pointed to the police as the ones who accidentally shot and killed four-year-old Skyler Abatayo, even as the paraffin test showed that none of the operatives fired their guns recently.

Police Chief Oscar Albayalde ordered their relief pending investigation and the surrender of their firearms for ballistics examination.

“This means that the four DEU (Drug Enforcement Unit) operatives have not fired their handguns, hence, may not have been responsible for the death of Skyler Abatayo,” a statement from Camp Crame stated.

However, the witnesses are believed to be vital in supporting the claims of Skyler’s family that the bullet that ended his life came from the police.

“So we are in the process of securing their affidavits… They (witnesses) have personal knowledge,” NBI Special Investigator Arnel Pura told SunStar Cebu.

Skyler was declared dead at the hospital last Tuesday after he was hit by a stray bullet from an anti-drug operation in Barangay Ermita, Cebu City.

Agents headed by NBI 7 Assistant Director Dominador Cimafranca conducted an initial crime scene investigation in Sitio Bato after the Abatayo family filed a formal complaint in their office yesterday morning.

“We will use all the investigative tools. If we can conduct a reenactment or reconstruction, we will do it,” Cimafranca said.

The NBI 7 said that they will coordinate with the police during their investigation.

The Abatayo family is collating important documents for their case, such as the medico-legal report, autopsy, police incident report, among others.

A relative, who asked not to be named, told SunStar Cebu that both of Skyler’s lungs were pierced by the bullet.


“That killed him. We just want to fight for justice for his death. That boy was so talented. He wanted to become a priest and would often read the Bible as if he was already preaching,” she said.

His father Mark Anthony underwent a drug test in the NBI 7 yesterday.

The Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 had said that there was a possibility that Mark was involved in drugs.

Camp Crame also expressed their condolences to the family and assured that they, too, through the Internal Affairs Service (IAS), are investigating the matter.

“The PNP will not hesitate to file any appropriate administrative or criminal charges if culpability by any of our personnel has been established after a thorough investigation by the IAS 7,” the statement said.

They also assured that manhunt operations to track down the four drug personalities who escaped were launched.

“One of them was believed to have fired his handgun as they made good their escape. PNP-IAS 7 and Soco (Scene of the Crime Operation)-PRO 7 are now collaborating to put all the pieces together in order that the real culprits will be arrested and put behind bars and justice will be served for Skyler and his bereaved family,” the statement said.

Source: Local News

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