The Tagbilaran City Police Station (TCPS) is continuing its investigation on the death of a “striker” or a staff member who ran errands and did chores for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Tagbilaran City.
Evidence including an alleged suicide note initially gathered by police indicated that Romel Borres, 22, of Zamboanga Sibugay, shot himself using an M16 rifle but TCPS chief Lt. Col. Christopher Navida said that a probe is still ongoing to determine if there was foul play behind the death.
“Sa ngayon, ang pinanghahawakan natin is alleged suicide at makikita nalang natin kung may foul play ba o wala once na ma-conduct yung lahat na isinasagawa na investigation,” Navida said.
Borres’ remains were found inside a DF318 Small Craft of the PCG which was moored off the Tagbilaran City port on Monday morning.
According to Navida, a SOCO (Scene Of the Crime Operatives) team has been tasked to conduct an investigation on the case through the police’s crime laboratory.
“Ongoing pa ‘yung investigation sa alleged na suicide,” said Navida.
Police are looking into the “positioning” of Borres’ wound and the weapon used in the killing.
A photo released to the media showed that Borres who was lying on a bed had his arms partly wrapped around the rifle.
“Hinihintay natin from the crime lab yung SOCO report and then mostly kung magrequest ng autopsy yung family, makukuhanan din natin ng autopsy report,” said Navida. “Ang evidence lang na meron tayo is yung suicide note and then yung firearm na na-recover—then regarding doon sa positioning and kung saan man yung inflicted wound niya.”
Based on initial information gathered by police, Petty Officer III Jovanne Flora and POII Richard Historia initially heard what sounded like gunshot but were unsure as the noise was drowned by the sound of lapping waves.
The boat’s captain, Chief Petty Officer Ferdinand Manaay, discovered Borres’ body when he looked for him and was about to ask him to join them as they were about to share a meal. (A. Doydora, W. Maestrado)