‘Dirty Harry’ mayor praises Manila cops facing probeBy Jaymee T. Gamil, Jeannette I. Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Manila’s “Dirty Harry” has come to the defense of the policemen who figured in the deaths of two rape-slay suspects under detention on Tuesday night, saying the officers deserve commendations instead of being subjected to investigations.
Mayor Alfredo Lim was reacting to reports that the National Police Commission would look into the killing of Roderick Soliveres, 28, and Cecilio Bacolo Jr., 19.
Commission on Human Rights chairperson Loretta Rosales Thursday expressed her support for the probe, noting an apparent pattern involving several MPD detainees being killed after allegedly snatching their police escort’s gun.
The two suspects—who on Monday confessed before Lim that they had sodomized and strangled a 7-year-old-girl from Sampaloc after reading smutty tabloids Friday last week—were shot in what MPD described as a “scuffle” with a police officer at their cell.
Soliveres allegedly tried to grab the sidearm of Police Officer 1 Ramil Dimaguiba, which went off and hit Bacolo. Another officer who responded to the commotion, PO3 Rodel Benitez, then shot Soliveres.
“To those who are suspicious of the incident, they should investigate. We will also do an investigation. But in my opinion, when a policeman carries out his duties and defends himself in the face of danger, he should be praised. Would we prefer to see them running away?” Lim said in Filipino in a chance interview at the wake of the rape-slay victim.
Also on Thursday, an 8-year-old girl came to the MPD headquarters claiming she was a friend of the rape-slay victim and that she almost got molested herself by Soliverez and Bacolo.
“I was playing that morning (March 9) when (the victim) asked me to come along to buy some bread. She had P20 with her and when we got to the street corner, Jun-Jun (Bacolo) and Mulong (Soliveres) were there,” said the girl, who was accompanied by her mother and a barangay (village) official.
“Jun-Jun told me to come with him and (the victim). But I was feeling hungry so I told her to just wait for me because I needed to go home to eat. I left them and when I came back, they were already gone,” she recalled.
Rosales said the commission would keep a close eye on the MPD probe. “The suspects were already under their custody, and yet they could still grab the police’s guns. That’s gross incompetence on their part,” she said in a phone interview.
The CHR chairperson also noted an emerging pattern in Manila where several incidents of gun-snatching incidents had taken place and the suspects all ended up dead. “This is happening often. That’s one of the reasons why this must be investigated,” she said.
Last month, a Chinese national tagged in the killing of his girlfriend allegedly shot himself after grabbing his escort’s pistol while on their way to the Manila prosecutor’s office.
Also in February, a criminology student arrested for allegedly shooting a policeman was also killed for making the same move on an officer who was then bringing him to the hospital for a medical checkup.—With a report from Leila B. Salaverria