NBI files murder, planting of evidence raps vs cops in Ragos killing

NBI files murder, planting of evidence raps vs cops in Ragos killing
Video circulating social media shows the standoff between Police MSgt. Daniel Florendo Jr. and Winston Ragos.
Screengrab / Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation's Death Investigation Division has filed murder and perjury complaints at the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office against Police M/Sgt. Daniel Florendo and four others over the killing of former soldier Winston Ragos.

Aside from Florendo, others facing complaints are police trainees Joy Flaviano, Arnel Fontillas, Dante Fronda and Dalejes Gaciles, according to a copy of the NBI report posted by News5. 

The NBI's DID also filed complaints of planting of evidence against Florendo and Police S/Sgt. Hector Besas.

NBI spokesman Ferdinand Lavin earlier said the .38-caliber handgun that police said Ragos was reaching for may have been planted after he was shot dead.

Ragos was killed, allegedly in self-defense, in Quezon City on April 21 after a confrontation over quarantine protocols. Florendo shot him despite neighbors and bystanders saying the former soldier was unarmed and had mental health issues. 

Police officials said Florendo made a "judgment call" and was merely "following instruction."

A video of the incident showed Ragos had already turned his back to Florendo when he was shot a second time.

The NBI stepped into the case after the Philippine Army requested an investigation parallel to one conducted by the PNP. The Army said at the time that it did not have the expertise to investigate the death. It also said that it was alarmed that police officials seemed to have "prejudged" the case in favor of clearing Florendo.

Although police leadership was quick to defend Florendo, the Supreme Court in 2013 ruled in Aguilar vs Department of Justice et al.—a case that involved a suspect being killed in police custody—that "when the accused admits killing the victim, but invokes a justifying circumstance, the constitutional presumption of innocence is effectively waived and the burden of proving the existence of such circumstance shifts to the accused."

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