Who must secure evidence from crime scene? Napolcom, NCRPO have varying views
MANILA, Philippines — Who should secure evidence from a crime scene? The National Police Commission (Napolcom) and the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) have differing points of view.
According to Napolcom Vice Chairman Rogelio Casurao, the SOCO or Scene of the Crime Operative should handle the evidence gathering after a crime scene.
“We have a very clear procedure in handling cases like this. After the incident, they should allow the SOCO to come in so that subsequent evidence should be handled by the SOCO, not the people involved in the incident. From the footage, there was no SOCO that was called upon,” Casurao said in an interview over ANC.
But for NCRPO chief Major Gen. Debold Sinas, responders of the crime can secure the evidence in the crime scene and just give the pieces of evidence to SOCO.
“Pwedeng kuhain ang baril, kasi if you’re looking at the case, sinecure nila ang evidence. So pwede ‘yun, kasi sila naman ang involved. Pagkatapos, i-turn over nila ‘yun sa investigator-on-case,” he said.
(They can get the gun because if you are looking at it, they are securing evidence. That is allowed because they are involved. After that they can turn over the evidence to the investigator-on-case.)
“Tapos i-turn over sa SOCO team para ma-test for fingerprints, body fluid, ballistics, physical evidence, and serial number,” Sinas added.
(Then it will be turned over to the SOCO team for testing of fingerprints, body fluid, ballistics, physical evidence, and serial number.)
Asked if such a move would tamper evidence, Sinas said: “No, it’s not. Kasi part nila ‘yun, lumalabas na nag-respond or react ang pulis dun.”
(No it’s not. Because in their part, police are just responding or reacting.)
Debates on who should secure pieces of evidence from a crime scene emerged after former soldier, Cpl. Winston Ragos, was shot to death by Police Master Sergeant Daniel Florendo of the Fairview Police Station at a checkpoint in Barangay Pasong Putik, Quezon City.
According to the report of the Quezon City Police District, Ragos was shot after he allegedly attempted to draw a gun from a sling bag. But his relatives insisted Ragos was unarmed.
Casurao questioned why did it took “some time” for the responders to call first aid to attend to Ragos, who was fatally shot twice.
“There was an ambulance I think to take the victim to the hospital. What should have been done was to call for the first aid, to attend to the victim after the two shots were fired,” he said.
“Most likely what you can do is give first aid to save the victim but it took some time before he was attended to after the ambulance came after 10 minutes,” he added.
Videos ‘not hard evidence’
Casurao also said video that circulated online about the shooting incident lacked some attributes such as the argument that Ragos was carrying a firearm.
“The video can guide you on the physical attributes of the incident but as to the other important matters these are not shown in the video that’s the whole problem. Like for instance the claim that the victim was armed with a .38 caliber. This was never shown in the video,” he said.
Napolcom will investigate the shooting incident for 60 days, Casurao said.
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