2 killed in apparent mistaken encounter with police, barangay watchmen in Mandaluyong
At least two persons were killed as barangay watchmen and police, thinking it was a getaway vehicle of gunmen in an earlier shooting incident, shot at their van on Thursday night in Mandaluyong.
But police later found out the persons on the white Mitsubishi Adventure van were bringing a woman who was shot in the earlier incident to a hospital. The woman and another passenger died, said Director Oscar Albayalde of the National Capital Region Police Office in a televised press conference Friday.
"The owner of the vehicle survived. Two had gunshot wounds. Three survived," he added. Albayalde said the driver, who had a gunshot wound escaped.
Killed were Jonalyn Ambaon and Jomar Hayawon. Confined at Mandaluyong City Medical Center are Eliseo Aluad and Danilo Santiago Jr., police said. The survivors Ruel Distor, Simeon Lumbao, and Mhury Jamon were placed under police custody.
Jamon said in the televised news conference that the village watchmen fired first while the latter claimed they exchanged gunfire with occupants of the van at Shaw Boulevard and Old Wack Road. Police arrived later and they were told by the watchmen people in the van were assailants.
Police continued shooting, alleged Jamon. He said:" We had an injured person but they did not listen to us."
"Police continued firing at us because they thought we did not want to leave the vehicle, but we can't go down because the person was on top of another. Three of us lay prone on the van as shots continued," said Jamon.
"We are not ruling out possible overkill in Mandaluyong shooting incident," said Albayalde. He added that Mandaluyong police appeared to have gotten wrong information that people inside the van were armed.
"Common sense and discretion are most important to policemen. During that time, we do not know what made them do that," he added. "Why would they continue shooting when no one is firing back?"
Senior Superintendent Moises Villaceran Jr., Mandaluyong police chief, said in a text message to the Daily Manila Shimbun the 10 involved policemen "have been relieved and now assigned to headquarters Mandaluyong (holding unit)."
Albayalde said Villaceran has been temporarily relieved from his post. Other policemen were relieved Senior Inspector Maria Cristina Vasquez, PO2 Nel Songalia, PO1 Jave Arrellano, PO1 Tito Danao, PO1 Bryan Nicolas, PO1 Julius Libuyen, PO1 Mark Castillo, PO1 Alberto Buag, PO1 Kim Tinbusay and PO1 Alfred Uribe.
The Internal Affairs Service (IAS) of the Philippine National Police started its probe.
Albayalde said paraffin tests and other forensic examinations will be done on the policemen and the scene of the crime.
The barangay watchmen, who allegedly shot at the van first, were also ordered to report to police. DMS