The Police Regional Office XI legal service believed that the members of the Special Weapons and Tactics did not violate the rules of engagement in taking down a hostage taker in Woodridge on Wednesday.
“The protocols on how to respond in that incident are already in our books now,” lawyer Rals Falcutila, the PRO XI legal service chief said in an interview at the Davao City Police Office headquarters on Friday. “Our police officers responded in accordance with the need of time and necessity of the time.”
He said the suspect already attacked the police officer as proven in the injury to one of the responding operatives.
He said the policemen can’t allow one of them to be killed first before they will react.
“Life cannot be compromised,” he said. “Neither the life of the police officer nor the life of the victim.”
When danger is imminent, the police officers should always defend themselves. As a matter of procedure, the personnel on site must always persuade the hostage taker to give up.
He also said that the number of wounds doesn’t signify an overkill.
Each case is different and the judgment of the people on the ground should be followed.
“It’s the judgment call on the part of the police officer how many shots are needed to neutralize the hostage taker,” he added.
The lawyer said there are instances when the attacker already sustained one or two shots but still remained a danger.
“The police officers who are performing their official duties are presumed to be regular and they have to enforce the law, and they have to defend themselves also against imminent dangers,” he added.
In a separate interview, Sr. Supt. Jose Carumba, the chief of the Regional Internal affairs service (RIAS) said they will conduct an investigation on all personnel involved in the operation.
“Although we have already conducted an initial investigation, we need the complete report from the Davao City Police Office,” he added.
The fatality was identified as Harland Ocampo Garvida, 40, a resident of Sapphire Street in NHA Bangkal, Barangay Talomo Proper, Talomo District.
He was allegedly shot by the responding policemen after he allegedly stabbed one of the Special Weapon and Tactical (SWAT) members when he held hostage a family in Barangay Ma-a, Talomo District at 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday.