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Banac: Cop involved in Ragos shooting complied with human rights-based policing

Philippine National Police spokesperson Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac said Friday that authorities complied with exisitng human rights-based policing in so far as the fatal shooting of a former soldier in Quezon City.

In an interview with GMA News Online, Banac said that under the PNP Guidebook on Human Rights-Based Policing, the incident could fall into the category in which the former soldier, Corporal Winston Ragos, was "assaultive" and that the use of lethal weapons is "necessary and authorized."

"Incident may fall into this category, subject to the result of investigation," Banac said.

It is stated in that specific category that "after exhausting all means to make the person, group or suspects to peacefully surrender, the police officer is authorized to use calibrated lethal force to suppress that threat."

Further, Banac said that video footage will show that Police Master Sergeant Daniel Florendo had followed proper police protocols in the shooting incident in Quezon City which claimed the life of Ragos, who had been previously diagnosed with a mental condition.

Banac insisted that protocols stated in the Revised PNP Operational Procedures were observed by Florendo, a cop assigned at the Fairview Police Station.

"If the video clips were to be the sole basis of investigation it is apparent that the rules of engagement prescribed in the Revised Police Operational Procedures were observed during the confrontation..." Banac told GMA News Online.

"More importantly, when [Ragos] repeatedly defied the verbal command given by the police to yield and cease making provocative and threatening moves, as well as the use of firearms and application of deadly force," he added.

Still, Banac assured the public that the probe would not be limited to scenes that were solely captured by the video clips which have already circulated.

"All angles will be looked into and corroborated by conclusive forensic evidence," Banac said.

"Much as we do not want to hastily pass judgement and allow investigators the freehand to look into all angles of this case, we can only presume regularity in the actions of the PNP personnel involved while performing their duty on that fateful day," Banac added.

On April 21, Ragos, a former member of the Philippine Army, was shot by Police Florendo after the former refused to follow the cop and allegedly threatened to draw his weapon in a control point in Barangay Pasong Putik. The victim's relatives have said that he was unarmed at the time of the incident.

Ragos, who served the military for seven years, could have acquired mental disorder after a heavy firefight in 2010 in which the detachment he was manning was attacked and was nearly subdued, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The PNP Internal Affairs Service already started its investigation on the matter, PNP chief General Archie Francisco Gamboa said. The Philippine Army has also started its investigation on the matter. — RSJ, GMA News