By JOEY P. NACALABAN
AS the bodies of drug suspect killed in buy-bust operations pile up, a former police officer and a senior agent with the National Bureau of Investigation have weighed in on the series of killings.
Camp Alagar spokesman Supt. Surki Sereñas maintained that operatives of the Police Regional Office-10 have always followed the Rules of Engagement which states: “Do not fire unless fired upon.”
“There was already a proposal for PNP to use bodycam during police operations. We are waiting for it to be issued to our operatives,” Sereñas said.
Sereñas said that if the reason for shooting first was to prevent danger, it is going to fall under “self-defense.” But he added that only the court can determine that, not the police.
For his part, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office spokesman Supt. Mardy Hortillosa said under the police operational procedure when the police sensed that the person he is going to arrest is about to pull out a gun, the police should not be outwitted by shooting the latter.
A former police officer, SPO4 Benjamin Rada, said in the rules of engagement law enforcers must defend themselves meaning the first bursts must be coming from the suspect.
“But you know there are many ways of killing the cat,” Rada said.
Another former policeman, SPO4 Bladimer Agbalog said that when he sees that the suspect has a gun, he should fire warning shots first before aiming his gun at the suspect.
“If the person will not take heed that’s the time I will shot him but without an intention to kill, only to neutralize the subject,” said Agbalog.
NBI Senior Agent Alex Cabornay, for his part, had a witty retort to the police’s Rules on Engagement.
“Basin lain ang sa pulis,” Cabornay said.
He said that shooting an armed suspect should “not be to kill but to disable the subject.”
“Maski matagal nang patay basta nasa listahan daw na binasa ng Tatay, para sa lispung kolokoy high-value target na daw,” he said in jest.