Metro Manila anti-carjacking unit suspended

08/09/2010 - MANILA, Philippines - Operations of a 12-man anti-carjacking unit in Metro Manila were suspended Monday due to suspected foul play over the death of carjacking syndicate leader Ivan Padilla.

Metro Manila police chief Director Leocadio Santiago said the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service is investigating 12 members of the National Capital Region Police Office Anti-Carnapping Unit for the death of Ivan Padilla, leader of the notorious Padilla carnapping syndicate, last August 2.

Santiago said the special anti-carjacking unit will remain inactive until the investigation is finished. He said the unit could be mobilized during emergency operations.

He added that anti-carjacking operations are conducted by police at the district level.

The Commission on Human Rights is investigating Padilla's death after an autopsy report showed that the gangleader died of "asphyxia as a result of blunt force to the throat."

A forensic pathologist has disputed police claims that Padilla died after breaking a neck bone in a car accident as he was trying to evade arrest in Makati. “You don't really say blunt force to the throat. Go direct to the point. Is this asphyxia due to strangulation?" said Dr. Raquel Fortun, a forensic pathologist.

Fortun said Padilla died of a fractured hyoid bone, a bone in the neck that supports the tongue.

"Apparently, meron pressure sa neck. Halimbawa ay sinakal sa pamamagitan ng kamay. Or, meron kang tali na ginamit mong pangsakal," she said.

After the car accident, Padilla also sustained two gunshot wounds in the head, both of which were ruled out by the PNP autopsy as being the cause of Padilla’s death. He also had scratches on the arm and neck
(ABS - CBN News)

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