Friday, February 4, 2011

5 cops face raps over US Navy officer's death

MANILA, Philippines – Five officers of the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group (PNP-ASG) will face homicide charges for negligence in connection with the death of Filipino-American US Navy Lieutenant Commander Scintar Mejia last December 26, 2010.

Pasay police chief Senior Superintendent Napoleon Cuaton made the recommendation after an investigation into Mejia’s death.

The US Navy officer allegedly committed suicide by jumping off the PNP-ASG headquarters.

Cuaton also recommended additional investigation for 11 other police officers led by Chief Inspector who Norberto Lumbera, Jr., who could face administrative charges.

Doubts over the cause of Mejia’s death surfaced following an autopsy made by Dr. Joseph Palmero, medico-legal officer of the PNP.

The autopsy showed that Mejia incurred a deep wound and a chest fracture.

Pasay investigators found out that the US Navy officer did not have the injuries before an attempt was made to revive him.

Cuaton said Mejia reportedly had a psychological problem amid his ongoing divorce with his wife in the United States.

Mejia was arrested by PNP-ASG personnel for alleged drug possession.

An investigation by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, however, showed that the white powder supposedly found in Mejia's luggage tested negative for cocaine.


NEHA JAIN                                                                                                                

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