Witnesses: Ex-soldier shot dead by QC cop unarmed
MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is leaning toward the possibility that the gun allegedly found in the bag of former Army Cpl. Winston Ragos may have been planted.
NBI spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin said on Wednesday that some witnesses had testified that Ragos, who was shot dead by a policeman after being accosted near a quarantine checkpoint in April, was not carrying a firearm at that time.
“There are already persons who testified that he was unarmed. I think that is the direction of our investigation,” Lavin told members of the media in an interview.
He clarified, however, that their investigation had yet to be concluded and was still in the “case buildup stage.”
“This is a developing investigation. What is good here is that there are those who cooperated. When the NBI conducted a crime scene investigation, they went to the area and then checked on the persons who could testify and there were those who gave their statements,” he said.
The 33-year-old retired Army officer died after he was shot twice by a Quezon City police officer near a quarantine checkpoint on April 21. The policeman had earlier accosted him for allegedly violating quarantine protocols.
A viral video of the incident showed Ragos arguing with police officers as neighbors tried to tell the latter that the victim was suffering from a mental condition. When Ragos reached inside his sling bag, Police Master Sgt. Daniel Florendo Jr. shot him. The Quezon City Police District later said that a gun was found in Ragos’ bag.
The commanding general of the Armed Forces had asked the NBI to conduct an “impartial investigation” of the former soldier’s killing.
Ragos had been confined four times in a military hospital in a span of six years after surviving several encounters with communist rebels in Camarines Norte province.
He suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and was recommended for discharge in January 2017 after doctors declared him no longer fit to serve.
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