Homicide complaint filed against cop who shot ex-soldier Ragos
Former Army Private First Class Winston Ragos, 34, was shot dead by M/Sgt. Daniel Florendo Jr. following a standoff in Barangay Pasong Putik.
The STAR/Boy Santos

Homicide complaint filed against cop who shot ex-soldier Ragos

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - April 24, 2020 - 12:03pm

MANILA, Philippines (Update 2, 02:12 p.m.) — Police have filed a homicide complaint against Police MSgt. Daniel Florendo, the Quezon City cop who fatally shot former soldier Winston Ragos allegedly in self-defense while enforcing quarantine guidelines.

News5 reported that Florendo will undergo an electronic inquest on the complaint filed by the Quezon City Police District.

A copy of the complaint has yet to be made public as of this story’s posting.

QCPD previously said that Ragos, a former private first class in the Army, accosted the cops manning a quarantine checkpoint and they “later learned” he was carrying a loaded revolver in his bag.

Florendo then drew his firearm and “cautiously approached Ragos.”

But the cops said Ragos “attempted to pull out his handgun” instead of following police orders to yield, which prompted Florendo to “disable” Ragos. The cop shot him twice.

The Philippine National Police and Philippine Army conducted a probe into the incident.

Prosecution to determine whether Ragos is deemed ‘armed’

The complaint comes after top police officials had already virtually cleared Florendo of wrongdoing, saying he shot Ragos in self-defense.

Police Gen. Archie Gamboa, PNP chief, previously said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel that “when you are confronted with a person armed with a pistol, its equivalent is also a pistol.”

Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP deputy chief for operations, and Police Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo of the  Quezon City police have also defended the fatal shooting.

Montejo, QCPD director, said that the shooting of Ragos was a “judgment call.”

Ragos’ family denied that he was carrying a gun and noted that the former soldier had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, which had let to his disability discharge from the military.

Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson, refused to comment on whether Ragos is "considered armed" because police believed that he had a gun in his bag. Police said they found a gun in the former soldier's bag after the incident.

“We will defer to the ruling that the prosecutor will issue the case,” Banac told Philstar.com in a text message.

He had previously been quoted in a GMA News Online report as saying that the incident “may fall” under the assaultive category, which might justify Florendo drawing his gun and shooting Ragos dead.

According to the PNP Guidebook in Human Rights-Based Policing, encounters in the assaultive category, or when bodily harm is possible, fall within three sub-categories: Where bodily harm is possible and the person is unarmed but resisting; where bodily harm is possible and the person is armed and “poses a serious threat” to police; and where there is a possibility of "serious bodily harm/death"  and the armed person or group has attacked the police using lethal weapons.

It said that firearms and non-lethal weapons should not be drawn in a situation deemed assaultive (possible bodily harm), but if the situation escalates, a police officer “may approach with caution with his/her hand positioned and ready to draw the service firearm.”

If a person is armed, “the police officer may assume a combat ready position with his/her hand over service firearm; or draw the firearm and point he muzzle to the ground.”

Videos of the shooting show Ragos, who initially had his back to the police and his arms raised horizontally, being confronted by five men in police uniforms.

The Palace, in a briefing on Thursday, said that Florendo shooting Ragos dead had nothing to do with President Rodrigo Duterte's previous spoken order that if a quarantine violator poses a threat to a police officer's life, then he should "shoot them dead."  — with report from News5

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