NBI exhumes Cui’s body for autopsy as Duterte orders probe

PHOTO CAPTION: After President Rodrigo Duterte (right) tasked the NBI to investigate the murder of Mariano Antonio Cui (left, inset), his body was exhumed for autopsy./iNEWS

BACOLOD CITY–The body of Mariano Antonio Cui, provincial consultant for hospital operations, was exhumed at the San Carlos Memorial Park on Monday for autopsy as President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate his murder.

Atty. Renoir Baldovino, Bacolod field office chief of the National Bureau of Investigation, said Dr. Nicasio Butin, medico-legal officer of NBI 6, conducted the autopsy.

Initially, the family refused the conduct of an autopsy, he said, but investigators need to recover the bullet in his body for ballistics cross-matching to trace the weapon used.

The agency will also secure a cyber-warrant, Baldovino added but cautioned against the premature disclosure of any motives in the murder of Cui, who was the former chief of staff of former congressman Julio Ledesma IV in the 1st district of Negros Occidental.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a press briefing on Monday, said the President “strongly condemns the killing of Mr. Mariano Antonio Cui III, consultant for hospital operations of Negros Occidental and former chief-of-staff of Congressman Jules Ledesma.”

Cui was gunned down in his hometown of San Carlos City on April 12.

He was declared dead on arrival at the San Carlos City Hospital due to two gunshot wounds to the chest.

Roque said Duterte has vowed justice will be served for the death of Cui.

“The President has directed the NBI to investigate the killing and punish the perpetrator to give justice to the family of the victim,” he said.

Duterte also extended sympathies to the family, friends, and colleagues of Cui.

“The President extends condolences to the family and the people of Negros because we know that Mr. Cui is loved by the whole province of Negros,” Roque said.

Police investigation showed that Cui was hit by long-range shots as he was about to board his vehicle outside his office at Emerald Arcade on F.C. Ledesma Avenue, Barangay Palampas, at around 8 p.m.

He was immediately brought to the hospital but was pronounced dead there by an attending physician.

Negros Occ. Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, himself a former mayor of San Carlos City, said Col. Romy Palgue, police provincial director, has informed him that the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office has formed a special investigation task group to probe the incident.

He said Cui’s brother, San Carlos City Councilor Mark Cui, has also requested the NBI to conduct a parallel investigation.

For his part, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said “We appreciate the directive of the President, thru the efforts of Sec. Roque. Justice is all the family is asking for.” (Eugene Y. Adiong/iNEWS-Bacolod/Negros Bureau)

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