Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Editorial: Overkill?

IS THE shootout between the police and the fleeing robbers that killed three persons and injured three others, including the daughter of a town mayor in Negros Occidental, in Bacolod City three weeks ago an overkill?

Isabela Mayor thinks so.

He said he will file a criminal complaint against the people who might be responsible for hurting his daughter. He believed the incident was an overkill or violation of police operational procedures.

On August 10, the two suspects, among those who were killed, just robbed a panel van of a cigarette firm in neighboring Bago City.

But the Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) team of the city police force chanced upon the suspects at the boundary of Bago and Bacolod. They ran after the robbers.

During the chase, the back rider drew his .38 caliber revolver and fired at the pursuing policemen, who also fired back.

The suspects were cornered in front of the Sum-ag National High School, just as the school was dismissing its students.

Killed in the crossfire was a pedicab driver while hit by the stray bullets were three civilians, including Malabor’s 15-year-old daughter.

The mayor said he wants justice for his daughter, who is still recuperating because the bullet from a .9mm caliber pistol broke her joint.

The mayor said he has nothing personal, but just wants a fair investigation of the incident.

Malabor added policemen should be trained on Comprehensive Human Rights International Law so there will be no human rights victims.

He believed that police have lapses during the operation.

Currently, the National Police Commission in Western Visayas is investigating the incident to determine if the Swat team has a fault in the operation.

Senior Superintendent Francisco Ebreo, acting director of Bacolod City Police Office, had stressed the pursuing policemen observed discretion and discipline during the chase. He added only four of the seven-man team fired their guns. He pointed out it was a calibrated first response.

At the end of the day, human lives were lost. Authorities should always be held accountable if they violated operational procedures.


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