MANILA, Philippines – Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla on Monday criticized the Kawit Police for not responding fast enough to the shooting rampage in the town last Friday.
Remulla said based on the testimonies of barangay officials, gunman Ronald Bae was already done with his shooting spree when policemen stationed just a kilometer away arrived.
He estimated that the shooting occurred at 9 a.m. The policemen arrived at the crime scene at around 9:30 a.m.
"Kahit lakarin mga 10 minutos maaabot nila," Remulla told dzMM.
"Bumalik na ho [si Bae] sa bahay niya eh. Mga 20 to 30 minutes naghintay sa bahay niya."
Bae killed 7 people and left 10 injured. He was eventually shot dead between 9:35 and 9:40 a.m., according to Remulla.
The governor also noted that before the January 4 bloodbath, residents had reported to the local police that Bae been indiscriminately firing shots since January 2.
He also lamented the alleged mishandling of the crime scene.
"Walang leadership sa scene of the crime. Nung dumating ako doon, iyung mga laman-loob, dugo nakakalat at tinatapak-tapakan lang ng mga tao. Awang-awa ako sa mga pamilya eh, parang balewala sa mga dumadaan," he said.
The police chief of Kawit and his deputy have been relieved of their posts while investigations are ongoing.
30-minute response just enough
Meanwhile, Sr. Supt. Dionisio Borromeo, deputy provincial police director for administration, said Kawit policemen did everything to respond to the shooting incident as fast as possible.
"Hindi po totoo iyun (Remulla's allegations). Kasi iyung isang tricycle driver na nagtakbo sa kanyang hipag na sugatan, siya yung dumaan sa police station para mag-inform [sa barilan]," Borromeo told dzMM.
"Hindi na siya umalis dahil nung nalaman na siya ay kapitbahay [ni Bae], siya ang nag-guide sa pulis."
Borromeo added that the people who reported the incident did not know about the shooting earlier.
"Ang problema, dahil doon sa looban [ang nangyaring pamamaril], iyung mga posibleng mag-report sana ay hindi nila alam na may mga pamamaril nang nagaganap," he said.
Borromeo also claimed that no police blotter entry on Bae's alleged January 2 indiscriminate firing was present.
Remulla, however, insisted that the policemen just ignored the residents' report since Bae had connections.
"Barkada niya yang mga iyan eh, dahil matagal tumira iyan. Maraming barkadang pulis talaga iyan. Kagawad ho iyan ng dalawang terms," Remulla said.
Borromeo denied the claim, noting that Bae had only returned to Kawit on January 2 after two years of absence.
Both Bae and his alleged accomplice John Paul Lopez tested positive for illegal drug use.
Lopez, who was arrested Friday night, is facing multiple murder raps for allegedly helping Bae reload his .45-caliber pistol.