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Man who ‘rose from the dead’ denies drug bust, shootout

Relatives of the alleged drug pusher who “rose from the dead” went to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) yesterday to seek justice for the victim who is now recuperating from gunshot wounds he sustained during his alleged encounter with Manila cops before dawn Tuesday.

Relatives of Francisco Maneja Jr. asked the NBI-Death Investigation Division to probe the incident as the claims of the Manila Police District-Malate Police Station (MPD-PS9) are not consistent with that of the victim.

According to his mother, who requested anonymity, there was no truth that “JR” was nabbed in a drug buy-bust operation.

“Wala pong katotohanan ‘yung sinasabi na nakuha ‘yung anak ko sa buy bust. Hindi po totoo na may asset po sila at nagbigay sila ng P500,”

JR was charged with possession of illegal drugs, illegal possession of firearms, frustrated murder, and for the use of violence against an agent of authority.

According to his relatives, JR, who is undergoing treatment at the Manila Hospital, said that a man boarded his tricycle Monday afternoon and asked him to be dropped at a grocery store to buy three sacks of brown rice.

However, as they got near the said store, his passenger demanded to drive toward Police Station 9.

Upon their arrival at the station, the police allegedly covered JR’s face and led him to the police locker room where he met George Huggins, the man who was killed by the police. There they were allegedly forced to admit to selling drugs.

According to his mother, JR was a former drug user but insisted that her son did not sell drugs. It has also been a year since JR stopped using illegal drugs.

“Nung una ayaw po umamin ng anak ko pero nasasaktan na po siya. Nagmamakaawa siya kasi may dalawa pa siyang anak.

Hanggang sa hindi na po niya kinaya, umamin na po siya. Doon lang po siya tinigilan. Pinakain pa daw po siya,” she said.

JR also claimed that the police ordered them to fire a gun. JR reportedly did not even touch the gun but Huggins took it.

Before they were led outside, JR was given a black jacket for him to wear, which allegedly contained a gun and drugs in its pockets.

JR, Huggins and three other policemen reportedly boarded a tricycle to Aldecoa Street where the incident happened.

One of the three police reportedly shot JR in the chest, forcing him to alight from the vehicle.

“Hindi po nanlaban ang anak ko, wala pong katotohanan ’yun. ’Yung pangalawang baril sa anak ko, sinalag na lang po niya ‘yung braso niya kasi sa ulo na daw po ang tama noon,” she said.

JR then reportedly pretended to be dead until the crowd thickened and the media arrived. It was the time he stood up with his arms raised.

JR’s relatives said for now, JR is not in danger but they fear for his life after he is discharged because he will be brought to PS-9 due to the cases filed against him.

“Hinihiling po namin na sana sa iba nalang dalhin ‘yung anak ko ‘wag na lang sa Presinto 9. Dahil wala na po kaming tiwala sa mga pulis doon,” the mother said.

JR’s aunt said her nephew is now in the ward of the hospital recuperating. He was in handcuffs during the first two days with police taking shifts to guard him. They requested for the removal of the handcuffs assuring that he would not escape.

JR’s mother also called out to the authorities to give drug users the chance to live and start a new life.