Father of former Miss World Philippines latest victim in war on drugs

>> Tuesday, May 2, 2017

By Raymund Catindig

SOLANO, Nueva Vizcaya -- The father of a beauty queen has become the latest victim in the government’s war on drugs that claimed over 8,000 lives since president Rodrigo Duterte took power last year.
Edmundo Parungao allegedly shot himself inside a police station here after a drugs-related arrest.
Forensic and ballistics tests conducted on the body of the father of Miss World Philippines 2015 Hillarie Danielle Parungao showed the man committed suicide, a police official insisted.
Chief Insp. James Bag-ey – who heads the crime laboratory in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya told media the bullet that pierced the skull of Edmundo from his mouth hit the ceiling of Solano police station.
Bag-ey said traces of blood and few strands of hair were found in a hole in the ceiling created by the bullet. 
The beauty queen said she did not believe that her father took his life.
The elder Parungao reportedly grabbed the service firearm of his police escort, PO2 Marck Baccay and shot himself at Solano police station.
Parungao was arrested during a sting in Barangay Osmeña.
Parungao reportedly complained of chest pain, prompting authorities to remove his handcuffs to bring him to a hospital.
Bag-ey said the absence of gunpowder burns on the victim’s hands was due to the position and trajectory of the firing.
Since the gun used was new, no traces of nitrate can necessarily be found when it was fired only once, he said.
Although Baccay tested negative for paraffin, Bag-ey said the results of the forensic and ballistics tests are not conclusive.
“I could only assume that Parungao was more likely to have shot himself based on evidence at hand,” Bag-ey said.
Several people witnessed Parungao’s alleged suicide, according to Chief Insp. Billy Mangali, Solano police chief.
“I’m broken, I will always be, and no one or nothing can ever mend my heart,” his daughter Hillarie, 26, wrote on Facebook.
Ms Parungao, a TV presenter who was crowned Miss World Philippines in 2015, wrote a grief-ridden tribute to her father, who she credited with launching her modeling career as he used to ask for her photos when he was working in Taiwan.
As a child she “followed him everywhere” on his rare visits home and she once found him crying in the garden.
“My first memory of my dad –  a man in his denim jeans and white t-shirt. Bubbly, full of life and love, hurting and sobbing,” she wrote. “As I sit watching him now sleeping still, I told him, ‘Dad, you will never be hurt anymore’.”
According to police report, her father grabbed the gun of his police escort who uncuffed him when he complained of chest pains.
It fits a pattern of reports where thousands of drugs suspects have allegedly been killed fighting arrest in “encounters” with police, or while reaching for guns in custody.
On Monday a Filipino lawyer asked the International Criminal Court in The Hague to charge Mr Duterte and 11 other Philippine officials with mass murder and crimes against humanity for the killing of thousands over the past three decades.
Jude Josue Sabio has previously represented self-confessed hitman, Edgar Matobato, who made headlines last year when he claimed he worked as a paid assassin for Duterte when he was mayor of Davao City in the southern Philippines.
The Philippine government has so far not responded to the case. Mr Duterte has previously said killing criminals is not a crime against humanity.

Last week, he also warned he could “eat the liver” of terrorists.


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