Video of policeman in Bukidnon firing gun allegedly owned by drug suspect goes viral

Video of policeman in Bukidnon firing gun allegedly owned by drug suspect goes viral

- The video of a policeman firing the gun of an alleged drug suspect has gone viral

- Police officers shot and killed the said drug suspect in a buy bust operation

- The video was captured by a member of the alleged drug suspect’s family while hiding behind the window

- The Valencia police office has issued a statement on the issue which disputed the video’s insinuation and claims made against the police

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A video showing police officer PCpl Benzon Gonzales, in Valencia, Bukidnon picking up the .38 cal gun allegedly owned by the dead suspect, firing it thrice to his right, then placing it back beside the lifeless body.

Video of policeman in Bukidnon firing gun allegedly owned by drug suspect goes viral
Illegal use of and selling/buying drugs by teenager (Photo by: Peter Dazeley)
Source: Getty Images

The Northern Mindanao Times secured the official report submitted to Regional Director PBGen Rolando B Anduyan by PCol Jun Mark J. Lagare, Provincial Director of Bukidnon PPO.

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According to the report, CDEU operatives from the Valencia CPS, along with officers and personnel from the Bukidnon PIU, Bukidnon 2nd PMFC, Bukidnon Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit, and Regional Intelligence Division 10, conducted a drug buy-bust operation against drug suspect Pol Lopez Estañol.

Operatives also claimed that Estañol immediately drew his .38 cal. revolver when he noticed he was transacting with a poseur buyer. Authorities said they had no choice but to shoot the suspect in the operation that took place on February 20 in Barangay Batangan.

The report also said that the suspect was immediately brought by police operatives to Laviña Hospital,in Valencia City but he was declared dead on arrival by the facility's attending physician, Dr Julie Ann M. Evangelista.

The provincial police chief also said that the police operatives found three spent bullet cartridges at the scene of the crime.

The Provincial Director Lagare commended the responding PNP officers for a job well done and in their relentless effort to place under custody the illegal drug suspect.

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In a report published by Bombo Radyo, PLtCol Cipriano Bazar Jr., Valencia City Police Station commander, belied allegations that police personnel who conducted the operation planted evidence on the suspect.

Insisting that the operation was legitimate, LtCol Bazar revealed that PCpl Gonzales already explained to him that he was only overwhelmed with anger which was why he fired the gun.

Unfortunately, PCpl Gonzales, the police officer seen on camera firing the gun, figured in a fatal accident a few days after the buy bust operation in question, which also led to his death.

According to the PRO-10 spokesperson, PCapt Francisco Sabud, they are still checking with the police cybercrime division about the “authenticity” of the viral video which is now rapidly spreading on social media.

He promised that their regional commander, as well as the entire police organization, will not condone any wrongdoing done during the buy-bust operation.

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In the now-viral video, which was also shown on GMA News, the late PCpl Gonzales can be seen crouching over a motionless body presumed to be that of drug suspect Estañol, which was partially hidden by leaves blocking the camera's view.

A few moments later, the right hand of PCpl Gonzales can be seen holding a gun, cocked it, and fired three times to his right while an unidentified person looked on. The police officer then appeared to drop the gun beside the body of Estañol.

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Some members of the Philippine National Police have been hugging the headlines since December of last year. While the PNP leadership said all of these are isolated incidents, some sectors lament what they claim as an alleged lack of desire to pursue criminal cases against brothers-in-arms. Since 2016, human rights organizations already recorded thousands of deaths of drug pushers who allegedly fought back against authorities who are out to arrest them.

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Since 2016, human rights groups have complained about the occurrence of extrajudicial killings and police operations in the campaign against drugs. At the time, former Anakbayan Representative Walden Bello said that the Duterte administration must address the real cause of the illegal drug trade in the country which is poverty. He also said that the all-out war against the illegal drug trade in the Philippines should not be a war on human rights.

In recent years, some countries urged the United Nations to investigate the war on drugs in the Philippines. Iceland spearheaded the call and submitted a draft resolution. Activists also said that more than 20 countries backed the resolution.

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