Malacañang vows scrutiny of police ‘overkill’
Malacañang on Friday promised a thorough investigation into Thursday night’s shooting in Mandaluyong City that left two persons dead and two others wounded, as well as the alleged overkill by policemen involved in the incident.
The Palace move came as the Department of Justice directed the National Bureau of Investigation to step into the embarrassing foul-up, and the Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) started its own probe to determine the liability of the 10 policemen accused of using excessive force.
A parallel independent probe was also launched by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), bolstering efforts to prevent a whitewash.
“[The] matter will be investigated fully even if there appears to be excessive force utilized by police authorities,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Roque also stressed that the policemen involved had their movements restricted while the case was being investigated.
Policemen and village watchmen on Thursday night peppered a white Mitsubishi Adventure with bullets on Old Wack Wack Road in the city after mistaking it for the getaway vehicle of a shooting suspect.
The van actually carried the victim of an earlier shooting incident, Jonalyn Ambaon, and six men who were trying to bring her to the hospital.
Ambaon and her companion, Jomar Hayawun, were killed. Two others in the vehicle with them were wounded.
From Bangkok where he is spending the holidays, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II instructed NBI Director Dante Gierran to investigate the incident amid the public outrage triggered by the misencounter.
The incident is another cause of embarrassment for the controversy-plagued PNP, which has been parrying allegations its antidrug campaign has led to extrajudicial killings.
CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said NCR director Diana de Leon “has directed investigators to commence action.”
Alfegar Triambulo, inspector general of PNP-IAS, said the policemen, who were placed in restrictive custody, would also be subjected to paraffin tests.
The results of the tests on the policemen’s guns will determine individual liability, he said.
In a statement, Mandaluyong Mayor Menchie Abalos ordered Barangay Addition Hills Chair Kent Faminial to suspend the three watchmen involved in the shooting and to confiscate their firearms.
Village watchmen are not supposed to carry firearms while on duty, she said. —With reports from Marlon Ramos, Jaymee T. Gamil, Jeannette I. Andrade and Krixia Subingsubing
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