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Army chief orders review of policies on PTSD management

/ 03:44 PM April 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Army chief Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay has ordered a review of policies in handling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cases in the organization following the death of retired Cpl. Winston Ragos.

Army spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala said Sunday said the Army chief wants to explore ways on how it can extend assistance to those suffering from the said mental illness even to those who have already left the service.

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Ragos, who suffered from PTSD, was shot dead by a police officer manning a quarantine checkpoint in Brgy. Pasong Putik in Quezon City on Tuesday (April 21) for supposedly violating quarantine protocols and for allegedly trying to pull out a pistol from his sling bag.

The Army has also sought the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation for an impartial investigation on the case because of conflicting statements of the family, witnesses, and the police.

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The incident offered a glimpse of a rarely talked about issue in the armed forces and of soldiers struggling from mental trauma or PTSD.

“The CGPA (commanding general of the Philippine Army) saw it fit to review. Maybe we can assist the Veterans Memorial Medical Center or PVAO (Philippine Veterans Affairs Office) on how we can help them in managing,” Army spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala told reporters.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center is in charge of treating active military personnel with PTSD, but once they leave the service, the VMMC and PVAO will be taking care of their welfare.

“Of course we can’t help everyone, there are so many who have left the service. But a review is ongoing, and we’ll see how we can help then we will extend [assistance],” Zagala said.

/MUF

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TAGS: Cpl. Winston Ragos, Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, Philippine Army, PTSD, Quezon City, Shooting
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