By Joseph Almer Pedrajas
Witnesses of a shooting incident involving a cop and a former soldier near a quarantine checkpoint in Quezon City were signaling to the police not to fire, a closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage taken at the crime scene showed.
In a nine-minute CCTV footage obtained from Barangay Pasong Putik, at least two bystanders were seen gesturing at Police Master Sergeant Daniel Florendo Jr. of Fairview Police Station in a bid to stop him from pulling the trigger of the gun he was holding.
One man in white also even gestured, at the 1:33-minute mark of the footage, that Corporal Winston Ragos, the 34-year-old slain former soldier who was already raising his hand while the gun was being pointed at him, was a person with mental illness.
Two more minutes later, the shooting transpired.
What initially happened
According to a police report, the incident happened along Maligaya Drive in Barangay Pasong Putik around 2:30 p.m. of Tuesday. Police said, it stemmed from Ragos’ violation of quarantine protocols when he “approached the police trainees and started shouting and uttering intimidating words,” ignoring the law enforcers’ order to go home.
“[Ragos] was asked to go home and stay inside as he was violating the enhanced community quarantine protocols but he ignored the authorities and identified himself as a former soldier,” the police report read.
Ragos’ niece, Fae Macahilig, said in her Facebook post, however, that her uncle was “standing at a shop” when a police trainee saw Ragos following him when he was about to go inside a comfort room.
“Nakita niyang sumunod sa kanya ang aking tito na may Traumatic Disorder at akalang may kahina-hinalang kilos. Dahil nga po sa kanyang kondisyon normal na po sa kanya ang kanyang kakulitan. Kaya’t hindi na nagpatuloy mag-CR si Sir Flaviano [police trainee], at maya-maya dumating si Sir Florendo at tinutukan ng baril ang tito ko, kaya nagtaas ito ng kamay,” Macahilig said.
In the CCTV footage, Florendo followed Ragos into the crime scene, with his service firearms pointed at the latter. The police then ordered the former soldier who, facing the other way, had his hands already raised, to get on the ground but to no avail.
Ragos eventually faced the police and tried to pull something from his sling bag, which prompted Florendo to shoot twice. The police report said, “[Ragos] attempted to pull out his handgun prompting PMSg Florendo to disable [him].”
Police said they recovered a caliber .38 Smith and Wesson loaded with four live ammunition without serial number inside Ragos’ sling bag.
Ragos, according to his family, had post-traumatic stress disorder after experiencing war shock. Ragos’ last assignment was in Marawi, they added.
Quezon City Police District director Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo in a statement on Wednesday said that Florendo will face criminal and administrative investigation.
“Masasabi kasi nating ‘judgement call’ yung naging aksyon ng ating pulis laban sa suspek na armado din ng baril kaya nagawa niyang paputok. Gayunpaman, pinaiimbestigahan na natin ang naturang insidente (You might say it was a judgement call against the suspect who was also armed, but we will investigate),” Montejo said.
He added that Florendo was already in their custody after he surrendered.
“An ongoing investigation on the shooting incident is now being conducted by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) and the District Internal Affairs Service ” Montejo said.
READ MORE: Ex-soldier shot dead at checkpoint
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque extended Malacañang’s condolences to Ragos’ family, and said a swift and fair investigation into the matter will be conducted.