December 10, 2008
KIKO TO PNP CHIEF: HUMAN LIVES ARE NEVER COLLATERAL DAMAGE
Reacting to PNP Chief Jesus Versoza’s statement on the Parañaque shootout, Independent senator Kiko Pangilinan today scored the PNP’s lack of sensitivity to civilians killed in the crossfire..
“The PNP should not use the term collateral damage to refer to civilians and innocent bystanders killed in police operations. The use of the term is indicative of the lack of sensitivity of our men in uniform in dealing with the public,” Kiko said.
“Those killed are human beings with names and faces and with families who are grief-stricken and are in terrible pain as they make sense of the loss. They aren’t merely ‘collateral damage.’ The term used by no less than the PNP chief is deplorable and very unfortunate,” Kiko added.
Last Friday’s incident caused the death of five civilians. Alfonso de Vera and his seven-year old daughter Lea Alyanna, two of the casulaties, were on board an Isuzu Crosswind when intercepted by elements of the PNP along Sampaguita Street during the shootout. A witness alleged that officers of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) showered de Vera’s car with bullets and did not stop shooting at de Vera while he was getting out of the sport utility vehicle.
“Mga tao itong namatay na may pangarap sa buhay. I am sure if any of PNP Chief Versoza’s loved ones are caught in such a tragic incident, he wouldn’t want his loved ones to be described as collateral damage. The PNP Chief should apologize to the family of the victimsfor the use of such a term. We shouldn’t victimize them twice over with insensitive and uncalled for remarks,” Kiko ended. ####