MANILA - The video of an ex-soldier shot dead by a policeman in Quezon City has raised questions on whether authorities could have applied other means to neutralize him.
Private 1st Class Winston Ragos was shot dead by Police Master Sergeant Daniel Florendo Jr. at a quarantine control point in Maligaya Drive, Barangay Pasong Putik in Quezon City.
A video that circulated on social media showed a cop with his firearm pointed at the suspect ordering him to drop down on the ground several times. Several witnesses were heard on the background telling the cops not to shoot the man who was unarmed.
Police said Ragos, 34, had an altercation with police trainees manning the control point. Police trainees who encountered Ragos then reported the incident to Florendo.
"There were a series of warnings and the instruction was very simple, Tagalog pa," Philippine National Police chief Archie Gamboa said in an ANC interview.
"The video that has been shown on social media is actually an indication that there was really something wrong. But according to the report of the National Capital Region, they had knowledge that the person was armed," he added.
Police said a caliber .38 gun was found inside Ragos' slingbag.
A witness, however, said the ex-soldier was unarmed during the incident.
Ragos' family said the soldier developed PTSD after being assigned in Marawi. He was also on vacation in Metro Manila and could not go back to Albay due to the lockdown
Gamboa said that while it was the policeman's call to shoot Ragos, the investigation by the Internal Affairs Service would determine "whether the decision was right or wrong."
"There are a lot of circumstances na kapag hindi mo inunahan, talagang madadale ka. Depende talaga, kaya judgment call. Depende on the experience of that person. Kapag sinabi niya 'Sir, ako may personal experience ako tinamaan ako kasi nag maximum tolerance,'" he said.
"Marami na rin kasing namatay na pulis and actually ang instruction ko talaga 'wag kayong magpauna. When you are confronted by a person armed with a pistol, its equivalent is also a pistol. Parang equal force."
The PNP chief said Florendo has been disarmed and he and the police trainees are now under the custody of the National Capital Region.
"We have to find out in the investigation the details of the circumstances. Ayoko rin pangunahan. Parang sabihin ng investigator nagsalita na si Chief, 'yun na 'yun. The investigation is independent the internal affairs is doing it," he said.
"If appropriate cases for criminal charges would also warrant, then we will also file criminal cases against that policeman."