MANILA - The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Wednesday assured the public of a thorough and impartial investigation into the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy in Tondo involving a police officer.
"We're still investigating the case kung ano talaga nangyari at ano ang full liability ng pulis natin," NCRPO chief Oscar Albayalde said in a press briefing at Camp Crame.
The victim was shot dead by a masked man near a slaughterhouse in Vitas, Tondo last Friday.
A police officer turned himself in to the Manila Police District on Sunday night and said he was the one who shot the victim.
The officer and two others have been relieved from their posts, Albayalde said. Their firearms have been subjected to a ballistics examination, he added.
The NCRPO chief said the three police officers were assigned to guard the slaughterhouse.
The officer who surrendered said that at the time of the incident, he noted the presence of intruders in the compound allegedly stealing scrap metal.
He first claimed that he fired a warning shot and later said he fell to the ground accidentally firing his gun, said Albayalde.
"Madalas kasi nakawan do'n, mga bata, nagnanakaw ng scrap at binebenta. Sabi ni (officer who surrendered), nagpapaputok daw siya ng warning shot. Apparently, nagbago ang statement niya at nadapa raw siya kaya pumutok," he said.
Firing warning shots is now prohibited by the Philippine National Police for safety reasons, said Albayalde.
He said there is no excuse for the officer not to know this since it is taught during police training.
"We are investigating this kung talagang nadapa ba siya o nag-warning shot. Ang warning shot ay pinagbabawal na at wala na sa SOP (standard operating procedure) natin 'yan. Voice command with the use of megaphone na. Kahit kasi pababa, puwede mag-ricochet ang bala at tumama, o 'pag sa taas, may tatamaan dahil babalik ang bala," Albayalde said.
He added: "Hindi excuse na di niya alam ang SOP ng PNP dahil sa training, ini-integrate 'yan, nasa curriculum nila 'yan."
If found liable, the officer will face charges of homicide and grave misconduct, which could lead to his dismissal from the service.