Car theft suspect killed in Muntinlupa was unarmed, say probers
MANILA, Philippines—The car theft suspect killed in an alleged encounter with a local policeman and two members of the Philippine National Police’s highway patrol group on Monday night was unarmed, police said.
Senior Supt. Roque de la Vega, Muntinlupa police chief, made the statement after investigators from the local police interviewed at least four people who witnessed the shooting in Fabian Compound in Muntinlupa City at 9:30 p.m. last Thursday (Oct. 3)
The exchange of fire between enforcers from two police units left two men —suspect Michael Maranan, 33; and SPO1 Macario Romano — dead, and five others including a 10-year-old girl wounded.
PO3 Mersar Rapirap who shot the two HPG personnel sustained a gunshot wound in his right arm, while SPO1 Aniceto Santiago who was with SPO1 Romano on the HPG side survived the shooting.
The child victim identified as Heart Macapagal, a grade 5 student, remains at the Ospital ng Muntilupa while waiting for a surgery that will remove the bullet embedded in her neck, according to De la Vega.
Other bystanders identified as Anna Loraine Maranan, sister of the slain suspect, and one Aileen Duran were being treated at the hospital.
Chief Supt. Jose Erwin Villacorte, Southern Police District director, has ordered a thorough investigation into the shooting and directed the Muntinlupa police to find out who should be held liable.
Based on the Muntilupa police’s initial investigation, said Rapirap was not aware that the two men, who shot his friend and neighbor Maranan while they were having a chat on the roadside of Fabian Compound where they both lived, were members of the HPG.
“According to the witnesses, two men in plainclothes came and all of a sudden shot Maranan. Rapirap, who thought that the armed men were criminals, fired the next shots afterwards,” he said.
An exchange of fire ensued.
De la Vega said police probers have been looking into a breach of the standard operation procedures since witnesses told them the HPG men did not identify themselves and shot the suspect without a word.
Witnesses said the men could have just arrested Maranan since he was unarmed at that time.
According to De la Vega, the policemen in the encounter were also part of the clearance team at the HPG office and were never assigned to do field work and arrest suspects.
De la Vega said the police have also been investigating if Rapirap, a policeman assigned at the Muntinlupa police headquarters had criminal and administrative liabilities.
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