MANILA, Philippines - Three witnesses on Wednesday positively identified police Senior Inspector Joselito Binayug as the one who captured and tortured criminal suspect Darius Evangelista last March.
The witnesses – Sonny Lim, Renato Peralta, and Emmanuel Miranda – told the Department of Justice that they saw Binayug and other police officers bring in Evangelista to the Manila Police District Station 11 on March 5.
They were inside the police precinct’s jail at the time.
“Nakita po naming nang ipasok siya, pero mahina na siya. Sigurado kaming siya iyun dahil matagal na naming siyang kilala (We are sure that it was Evangelista because we have known him for a while),” Miranda said.
The trio said Binagyug and his men brought out the alleged torture victim early the following morning.
“Mukhang hirap na hirap na po siya. Naka-packing tape po iyung mukha niya. Saka kinakaladkad siya ng pulis (He looked like he was in deep pain. His face was wrapped with packing tape. Police officers were already dragging him),” Lim said.
Binayug refused to comment on the allegation.
“No, he is not admitting or saying that he is not the one in the video. Papanoorin muna naming ang video na ito (We need to watch the video first),” said his lawyer, Orlando Salatandre Jr.
Salatandre, however, refused to have the video clip allegedly showing a police officer abusing Evangelista to be shown during the DOJ hearing.
The victim’s wife, Ana, said he is sure that Binayug and her husband are two men on the torture video.
Atty. Harry Roque, Ana’s lawyer, said the video will be screened on the next hearing on September 16.
Roque wants the DOJ to summon Maria Ressa, ABS-CBN senior vice-president for news and current affairs, and reporter Niko Baua to appear at the hearing.
“We will ask them to produce the original video and explain how they got hold of it,” he said.