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CHR probes fatal shooting of teenager

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The Commission on Human Rights has launched a motu proprio investigation into the death of a teenager, who was shot by a police officer on Nov. 20 in a heated altercation.

“Law enforcement officials, in carrying out their duty, shall, as far as possible, apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms,” spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia said, citing the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials as adopted by the United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders.

Police Corporal Alvin Pastorin was charged with homicide for killing a 19-year-old quarantine violator in Pampanga. The victim was identified as Abelardo Vasquez.

Under the Philippine National Police (PNP) revised operational procedures, the use of excessive force or the indiscriminate use of firearms is categorically prohibited.

“And should it be necessary, warning must be first issued and the force to be employed should only be to neutralize resistance and subdue clear and imminent danger,” De Guia said.

 “Pending the results of the investigation, we continue to urge our law enforcers to always exercise maximum tolerance and patience in dealing with situations of peace and order. Use of excessive force which is unwarranted and not proportional to the violation committed is prohibited by the PNP operational procedures and must be dealt with accordingly,” De Guia 

Senators Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa meanwhile proposed that in the event that indiscriminate firing occurs involving a cop, the police commander of the area of the incident must also be reprimanded.

Dela Rosa, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, made the suggestion as an administrative policy to the newly-installed chief of the PNP Police General Dionardo Carlos.

During a public hearing  on Senate Bill No. 1531 and House Bill No. 6123, which both seek to impose stiffer penalties for indiscriminate firing and discharge of firearms, Dela Rosa said at present, the administrative policy of the PNP is to immediately relieve just the police officer who committed indiscriminate firing of firearm and firearm discharge and his or her immediate supervisor.

Carlos welcomed the suggestion. Carlos also said the PNP will deploy more police personnel from the headquarters to police stations that have jurisdiction over the communities in the provinces where they will spend the holiday season.

“This brings the number of our policemen, the bigger number of our policemen on the streets…Send them to their provinces, or their communities, but they will be performing their duties as police officers,”  Carlos said. With Macon Ramos- Araneta


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