PNP: No shoot-to-kill order vs convicts
Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac yesterday said the police will use force only if the convicts resist arrest and put up a fight.
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PNP: No shoot-to-kill order vs convicts

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - September 19, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — There is no shoot-to-kill order to the police to force the surrender of the remaining heinous crime convicts who walked free under the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.

Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac yesterday said the police will use force only if the convicts resist arrest and put up a fight.

“There is no shoot-to-kill order against convicts who will fail to surrender,” Banac stressed.

Banac said their tracker teams will exert all efforts to arrest the convicts following prescribed procedures and respect for human rights.

“We are also prepared to respond to contain or suppress any risk should a convict opt to put up any violent resistance,” he said.

A total of 538 convicts have surrendered as of yesterday, according to the PNP’s latest report. However, 391 or 72.76 percent of them were not included in the list of the 1,914 heinous crime convicts granted freedom under GCTA.

A total of 336 convicts were turned over to the custody of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

On Sept. 4, President Duterte ordered the released prisoners to surrender and register with the BuCor within 15 days or they would be considered fugitives. They have only until today to turn themselves in.

Duterte voided the release orders following reports of irregularities and corruption in the computation of prison sentences under the GCTA law.

Duterte has renewed an offer of big bounties for their capture. He said he would be happier if they were caught dead rather than alive.

Duterte said there was a “prize” of P1 million for each of the former felons still at large, after less than 700 of them heeded his call for surrender.

“The P1-million prize is available to those who can capture them dead or alive. But maybe dead would be a better option. I will pay you smiling,” Duterte told reporters late Tuesday.

Banac added that even if there is no reward money, the PNP will continue to account for the convicts still at large.

“Although the reward may be helpful to entice possible informants against convicts who fail to surrender, the PNP will exert all efforts to arrest them,” he said.

Banac urged the remaining convicts to surrender before today’s deadline.

The PNP has been prepping up its elite Special Action Force (SAF) to help in going after the convicts who fail to meet the deadline today to surrender.

Banac warned the SAF will commence operations starting Friday.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, for his part, advised the public not to take the President’s “dead or alive” order literally.

“Law enforcers are supposed to effect peaceful arrests, but they may use reasonable force if the subject of the arrest violently resists and endangers the security of the arresting officer,” Guevarra said.

Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete added two high profile convicts in the rape slay of the Chiong sisters in 1997 surrendered yesterday.

Josman Aznar and James Anthony Uy beat the deadline to surrender.

Perete said the two convicts showed up at the BuCor gates early last night.

The PNP said a majority of those who surrendered were from Mimaropa (Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon-Palawan) region with 100, followed by Central Visayas with 50 and Zamboanga peninsula with 47. – With Evelyn Macairan, Eva Visperas, Gilbert Bayoran, Jennifer Rendon, Reuters

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