MANILA - The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on Friday hailed the prompt action of the National Bureau of Investigation in the case of ex-soldier Winston Ragos, who was shot dead by policemen at a quarantine checkpoint in April for an alleged violation.
"IBP salutes the professionalism and dedication of the NBI lawyers and agents on the case. Justice bilis NOT justice tiis," IBP President Domingo Egon Cayosa said in a statement.
On Thursday, the NBI filed murder, perjury and planting of evidence charges against Police Master Sgt. Daniel Florendo Jr., who shot Ragos dead near a quarantine checkpoint in Quezon City.
The NBI Death Investigation Division filed the same charges against the 4 police trainees who had an argument with Ragos.
"The prompt filing of criminal cases against the erring policemen reinforces the principles that no one is above the law and that law enforcers should not be law-breakers. It also gives the police officers a fair chance to defend themselves in a court of law and not be unduly burdened in a trial by publicity," Cayosa said.
Ragos, 34, who was known to have suffered from post-traumatic stress after deployment in the 2017 Marawi siege, was shot by Florendo as he was supposed to reach for a gun inside his sling bag. Police said a caliber .38 gun was found in Ragos' bag but a witness said the former soldier was unarmed during the incident.
"Noteworthy are the charges of planting and tampering with evidence and perjury against the police officers who tried to cover up the crime. Such nefarious practices should be resolutely punished as they are necessarily malicious and make a mockery of the rule of law," said Cayosa.