Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa on Thursday defended the action of a Quezon City policeman who shot dead a retired soldier believed to have mental issues during a confrontation.
"When you are confronted with a person armed with a pistol, it's equivalent is also a pistol," Gamboa said on ANC, insisting that the policeman involved was under threat by the suspect, identified as Winston Ragos.
Gamboa said due to previous incidents in which policemen were confronted with armed suspects, he had instructed the police not to give suspects a chance to hurt them in any way.
"When we are confronted with an armed aggressor or a suspect -- marami na rin kasing namatay na pulis -- actually ang instruction ko talaga ay huwag kayong magpauna," he said.
"Nasa tao talaga ang pag-decide. Mabuti sana kung wala kaming experience na we're confronted with an armed [suspect] tapos palagi kaming nanalo... there are a lot of circumstances kasi na talagang pag hindi mo inunahan, talagang madadali ka," Gamboa added.
The PNP chief insisted that Police Master Sergeant Daniel Florendo, the cop who shot Ragos, as well as the other police trainees, had prior knowledge that the suspect was armed.
"The policeman was just cautious because he was knowledgeable that the person is armed. But maybe, on the procedure after that, that's what we're going to find out whether the decision of the policeman was rightful," Gamboa said.
According to Gamboa, the Internal Affairs Service already started investigation on the incident.
Gamboa said the accounts of witnesses and the police trainees present in the area when the incident happened would be used in the investigation.
"We have already lodged an investigation by the Internal Affairs Service so that there will be independence on the investigation," he said.
On April 21, police said Florendo and some police trainees from the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group were manning a control point in Maligaya Drive when Ragos arrived and shouted at them.
The policemen advised Ragos to go home but the latter refused. Despite repeated warnings, the suspect supposedly tried to draw his weapon, prompting Florendo to shoot him.
Ragos' family denied that he was armed.
In an earlier interview on Unang Balita, PNP spokesman Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac pointed out that Florendo had given verbal warnings but Ragos refused to listen to him.
"Sa pagkakataong iyon ay hindi naman kailangan ng warning shot at ginampanan ng ating pulis ang naaayon sa police operational procedure," Banac said.
Banac said Florendo made a "judgment call" as his life was in danger. --KBK, GMA News