The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) announced that the 50-member Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) will undergo a retraining on the police operational procedure following the death of a hostage-taker in Woodridge Park subdivision on Aug. 22.
“There will really be a retraining, especially in the conduct of police operational procedure in (handling) those incidents,” Sr. Insp Ma. Theresita Gaspan, the DCPO spokesperson, told reporters in an interview at the Public Information Office.
Harland Ocampo Garvida, 40, the hostage-taker, was declared dead on arrival at the hospital after the encounter with the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team at the crime scene.
“(The duration) will depend on the instructor and also the Police Regional Office XI-Human Rights Office. They will conduct a five-day training in September and the priorities are the SWAT and drug enforcement units,” she added.
She said they also requested a stun gun from the city government, as well as additional gear apart from the Kevlar and vest.
Gaspan earlier said they welcome the report that the family will file a case against the police officers who responded to the scene.
“In fact, Internal Affairs has already conducted a motu proprio investigation to determine if there are irregularities on the part of the police,” she said.
But she said the DCPO maintains its position that the operation was conducted with the assumption of regularity. “There is already an imminent danger on the part of the police. It is the judgment call of the ground commander and there was already a crime committed,” she added.
The wounded SWAT member is already back on duty.
Mayor Sara Duterte also said there was no overkill on the part of the police.
“I don’t think it was overkill because based on what I saw in the report, he attacked the father first. During the scuffle, their helper was hit and when the father managed to get out, the kid was taken as a hostage,” Duterte explained.
Duterte also explained that in an operation, protecting the victim is always the priority.
“It wasn’t really an overkill because if they wait another minute, somebody might get killed. That’s what we are trying to avoid, that the hostage will get killed during a hostage situation,” he said.
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