Paranaque shoot fest?

Paranaque shoot fest?

The good news is that the special forces of the PNP has caught upon a dreaded criminal syndicate said to be responsible in bank heists in recent memory at a Paranaque subdivision in what was a running gunbattle – if official PNP claim were to be believed. The bad news is that in the ensuing exchange of fire, some innocent civilians were killed even suspected of being part of the armed group out to rob a warehouse. There have been convincing evidence that at least a father and a daughter ought not to have been involved but were to be the collateral damage of a shooting that must have been undertaken with frantic adrenalin rush.

The maroon revo is testament that the PNP riddled it with more than sufficient number of ammunitions from their assault weapons in what was to be a simple case of – guesswork. There is simply no showing that the PNP forces aiming fire at the suspected vehicle have actually seen the faces or heads or bodies of the targets they are supposed to shoot. Nor did it become clear that passengers of said vehicle must have had the first opportunity to fire at the arresting PNP team since all windows were closed and peppered with bullets. The case of the white revo is practically the same.

Since dead men tell no tales, no one can advance a contrary view except that the Commission on Human Rights can technically make an initial assessment that there must have been violations in the rules of engagement. Senator Enrile is heard to have defended the PNP arguing that the rule of necessity took precedence in the unfortunate incident. Another senator instead proposed that only the PNP should be authorized to carry guns in a stricter and new gun control policy to be legislated. It will be recalled that this is not the first time that innocent civilians are being killed on mere suspicion by the PNP – perhaps, a typical feature of police operations.

By PNP’s own admission, at least three more members were able to flee and it is yet to be ascertained that they get arrested in follow up operations. Meantime, some laboratory testing or forensic work has to be done if only to show whether or not those killed and suspected to be part of this criminal syndicate actually fired their guns, reason that the PNP elements have retaliated by killing all of them in one systematic way. Some testimonies of those who have seen the event already tell us that the helpless father and daughter were fired at without mercy with no thought whatsoever whether or not they are supposed to have been killed.

We have been used to hearing versions given by the PNP that always fail the scientific test or as soon as video footages from some source are volunteered to the victims such as the rob-out in Pasig in the past killing sons of middle class families. And the cases can go on and on. Why must the PNP elements have to kill each and every one they suspected as part of the gang if they can be in a position to simply debilitate at least one remaining member – in aid of investigation? Why this mindset of having to terminate all living species? If this is not a crime against humanity, I don’t know what is?

There ought to be something chronically ill with the PNP psyche that must now be addressed. What happened in this Paranaque shootout is the indicative fact that it is the PNP that seems to have run amuck – killing everyone they see moving and on the ground at some frantic if mad frenzy. The arresting team – all of them – are into a kind of trigger happy mood unmindful of the crime they are about to commit – killing with more than superior force – unarmed and innocent individuals and child. There ought to have been serious aggravating circumstances attendant to their having fired at certain other individuals who are clearly not involved in the scheduled hold up of a warehouse in a subdivision.

Will the Civil Service Commission please see what intervention it can take to remodel the PNP psyche before it drifts to a really full-blown psychosis? Let us spare the innocent from this shooting spree making everything in the subdivision like some toys in a shooting gallery. Let us stop this kind of police work – it is revolting. Isn’t it sometimes said that the life you save may be your own? Obliquely, there must be a new gun control policy banning PNP from carrying M16s, M14s, Uzis or any like high-powered guns since it becomes mathematically safe to do so – given the present contemporary mindset or psyche obtaining in the PNP officialdom.

The right to live is at all times inviolable. Collateral damage, whoever invented that, must be a madman!

UP Diliman, Quezon City Email: