December 8, 2008
KIKO TO PNP: VALUE CIVILIAN LIVES!
Following Friday’s bank robbery in Parañaque that left five civilians, including a seven-year old girl, dead, Independent senator Kiko Pangilinan today scored the PNP for its many controversies and called for an immediate review of the rules of engagement.
“According to the PNP, they have been watching this syndicate for quite sometime before the bank robbery happened. If that’s the case, what precautionary measures did they make to prevent collateral damage.—if they made any at all?” Kiko asked.
“The death of two civilians, including an innocent girl, should move our police to review the rules of engagement. It must make its investigation open to the public to avoid allegations of whitewash. This is not the first time that a child was killed in an encounter. The PNP’s seeming lack of respect for civilian lives in incidents of crossfire is as threatening to our public as these criminal activities themselves,” Kiko lamented.
Alfonso de Vera and his seven-year old daughter Lea Alyanna 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.
“The leadership of the PNP must shape up, if we are to see a competent police force in this country. How do we expect to strengthen the respect for the rule of law in this country when the integrity of the highest ranking officials of the police are being questioned, and the PNP continuously gets embroiled in controversies such as this? Decisive measures must be taken to revive the PNP’s crashing credibility, and they must be made now,” Kiko ended. ####