PNP mourns death of 3-yr-old used by dad as ‘human shield’ in bust
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) mourns the death of a three-year-old girl who was believed to be used as a “human shield” by his father, a drug suspect, during a bloody gunfight with the police last Sunday in Rodriguez, Rizal.
In a statement Tuesday, PNP spokesperson Col. Bernard Banac said the PNP offers its “sincerest condolences” to the families of the four fatalities including the girl identified as Myka Ulpina.
“It is very unfortunate that a 3-year-old child became a collateral casualty in the most recent incident of violent confrontation with drug suspects in Rizal province,” he said.
Killed in the crossfire were Myka, her father Renato, another suspect, and Senior Master Sergeant Conrad Cabigao who served as the poseur buyer in the bust.
Investigation showed that the other unidentified suspect recognized Cabigao as a police officer and fired at him together with Renato, who then reportedly used Myka as a shield.
Myka was rushed to a hospital after sustaining a gunshot wound to the head during the shootout. She died in the hospital a day later.
According to Banac, the suspects first fired at Cabigao, prompting the police officer to return fire.
“Any armed engagement especially close quarters combat in a cramped environment like this is very chaotic and the confluence of events is fast and unpredictable to allow more calibrated and cautious reactions,” he said.
“Sgt. Cabigao may have acted purely on human instinct to survive that ordeal but was simply outgunned by the two suspects,” he added.
Banac said the PNP is continuously improving its systems and procedures through better equipment and training to enhance the capability of its personnel to survive in operations and deter violent resistance of suspects. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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