Vowing to render justice to the victim and his family, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) decided to conduct its own investigation into the killing by a policeman of a 19-year-old boy last Nov. 20 in Bacolor, Pampanga.
The CHR acted on reports that policeman Alvin Pastorin, an intelligence officer of Pampanga Provincial Police (PPO), shot dead Abelardo Vasquez who was apprehended for not wearing a face mask.
Reports stated that Vasquez and some of his relatives allegedly attacked the policeman and even threw rocks at his car. The same reports stated that Pastorin has been detained at the Bacolor municipal police station.
“The Commission, in the conduct of its investigation, will coordinate with local authorities in ensuring justice for the victim and accountability for the individual responsible for his death,” said CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia.
“We send our deepest condolences to the bereaved family and loved ones of the victim,” De Guia said.
Citing the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, De Guia said that law enforcers or policemen “must apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms, a far as possible.”
“Similarly, as detailed in their own Philippine National Police (PNP) revised operational procedures, the use of excessive force or the indiscriminate use of firearms is categorically prohibited,” she added.
If the situation calls for it, she pointed out that warning must be first issued by lawmen and the force to be employed should only be to neutralize resistance and subdue clear and imminent danger.
“We welcome Philippine National Police Chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos’ announcement on Wednesday, reiterating the PNP’s policy against indiscriminate firing,” she said.
The CHR, she added, has been urging policemen to exercise maximum tolerance and patience at all times.
“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,” she stressed.