By Jeffrey Damicog
The filing of charges against policemen involved in the killing of retired Army Corporal Winston Ragon should push law enforcement to do their jobs better, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) said on Friday, June 5.
“The case should not discourage but rather inspire law enforcers to do their job well and in accordance with law and rules,” said IBP President Domingo Egon Cayosa in a statement.
“Making the malefactors accountable and getting rid of misfits will improve the PNP (Philippine National Police) and law enforcement in our country,” he added.
Following the conduct of an investigation, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office last Thursday, June 4, charges against Police MSgt. Daniel Florendo for murder and perjury in violation of the Revised Penal Code as well as for planting of evidence in as penalized by Republic Act 10591, the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition of 2012.
Four police trainees were also named as his co-respondents in the charges of murder and perjury, namely, Joy Flaviano, Arnel Fontanillas, Dante Fronda, and Dalejes Gaciles. While Police Staff Sgt. Hector Besas was named as Florendo’s co-respondent for the planting of evidence charges.
Ragos died last April 21 near a police checkpoint in Barangay Pasong Putik in Quezon City after being shot by Florendo who claimed that the former soldier violated quarantine rules and was armed.
Cayosa said the nefarious practice of covering up crimes “should be resolutely punished as they are necessarily malicious and make a mockery of the rule of law.” He lauded the NBI for its speedy investigation of the case and salutes it for “the professionalism and dedication of the NBI lawyers and agents on the case.”
“The prompt filing of criminal cases against the erring policemen reinforces the principles that no one is above the law and that law enforcers should not be law-breakers,” he stated.
“It also gives the police officers a fair chance to defend themselves in a court of law and not be unduly burdened in a trial by publicity,” he added.