PNP chief orders probe on brazen hospital killing in Angono

Published November 6, 2020, 5:48 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

Police General Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, chief of the Philipppine National Police (PNP), announced Friday that an investigation was launched to determine the possible liability of policemen who were assigned to secure a man that was killed inside a hospital in Angono, Rizal after being treated for gunshot wounds.

Police Lt. Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Cascolan said this even as if he defended personnel of the Angono police who brought Vincent Adia, 27, to the Rizal Provincial Hospital where he was killed by a masked gunman.

“‘Yung mga pulis natin imbestigahan natin kung may kinalaman nga sila or whatever because iyon nga ang lumalabas. Kung minsan, may mga sisi sa mga pulis but we will do our best to investigate (We will investigate our cops if they really had a hand in the incident or whatever because that’s what the reports are saying. Sometimes, our police are being blamed but we will do our best to investigate),” Cascolan said.

Adia survived after he was initially shot in the head three times by an unknown suspect or suspects at the boundary of Barangay San Isidro and Barangay Mahabang Parang around 4 a.m. last Wednesday. 

His killer placed a cardboard on top of his bloodied body saying that he was a drug “pusher,” a scene which had been observed in thousands of other drug-related killings under the administration of President Duterte.

After being rescued by motorists, Adia was brought to the hospital by police and village officials where he was treated by the doctors and nurses. 

But around 11 a.m. on the same day, a masked gunman barged into his room and ended Adia’s life with two bullets to the head in front of horrified hospital staff and other patients. 

At gunpoint, the gunman ordered the witnesses to drop on the ground before he escaped unscathed.

Police Major Richard Corpuz, chief of Angono municipal police office, said he was summoned by the Rizal provincial police office to explain the absence of cops at the hospital which was among the possible lapses being eyed as to why the gunman managed to enter the facility.

However, he denied that his men were involved in the killing of Adia.

“Wala pong kinalaman ang police station natin dahil kami nga po ‘yung nagdala sa biktima mula sa area kung saan siya unang nakita (Our police station is not involved [in the killing] because we were the ones who brought the victim [to the hospital] from where he was first found),” Corpuz said in a television interview over ANC.

After the cops brought Adia to the hospital and he already stabilized, the cops reportedly left to go back to the station and make a report.

Cascolan said there was nothing wrong with the pull back of troops since they have already done their job, and that is to bring Adia to the hospital where he eventually got stabilized prior to the killing.

“There was really no threat anymore. Siguro tama rin ‘yung ginawa ng ating mga kapulisan (Maybe our police did what’s right) but we will have to investigate bakit hindi sila nag-iwan (why they did not leave a security detail) because they were thinking already that everything was done to its best efforts,” he said.

“Hindi naman natin masisi kung minsan ang ating mga kapulisan dahil hindi naman na kailangan siguro bantayan ‘yun dahil walang threat (We cannot put the police at fault because they probably though they did not need to secure the victim because there is no longer a threat). There is no threat and they didn’t know actually what was the incident about,” he added.

Whether Adia was really involved in any illegal drug activity is yet to be confirmed by the police. However, police said he was imprisoned over robbery charges and was released only last year.

Cascolan, who is set for retirement on Tuesday, said he wanted to see to it that the case would be resolved before he leaves his post.

The attack was heavily condemned for its brazenness, with the Commission on Human Rights describing it as “utterly reprehensible” and “a desecration of the very facility where the sick and wounded are supposed to be treated and saved.”