TWO unfortunate incidents happening last week in Manila, a couple of days within each other, has brought to the fore the importance of and need for the Manila Police District (MPD) to revisit the shooting skills of its uniformed personnel.
The first was during the operation launched against four alleged members of a gang called, “Dura Dura” who were said to be victimizing hapless bus passengers at the Plaza Lawton in Ermita, Manila.
The said operation was based on a complaint regarding the activities of the suspects who prey on innocent bus passengers. The modus operandi reportedly consists of one or two of the gang members spitting on their prospective victim to distract him while the other gang members steal from him.
The Lawton Police Community Precinct first nabbed inside a transport bus Jayson Libanin, 26 , of 482 Maganda St., Sampaloc and Mark Bactol, 30, of 121 V.Mapa St., Sampaloc. The two were positively identified by the passengers of a bus that was going to Liwasang Bonifacio. During investigation, the suspects identified their cohorts Richard Moreno, 39 and Erwin Obemio, 36, both of 1035 Matimyas St., Sampaloc, Manila.
While the two were being nabbed in a follow-up operation along Blumentritt Street, they reportedly tried to flee but were pursued by the arresting cops that included a a ranking police official. During the brief chase, the said official’s gun was said to have fallen on the concrete ground and accidentally went off, hitting the same official in the left foot. Fortunately, the said ranking cop was not seriously injured.
About a couple of days later, what would have been an ordinarily quiet working day at the Manila Police District (MPD) headquarters on United Nations Avenue turned to shock and horror, specially among the policemen themselves. This was when a gunshot rang out, causing the policemen then working in the various offices there to dash out with their service firearms. It turned out that a member of the Manila Police District- Anti – Carnapping and Subpoena Section accidentally fired his gun while inside the MPD headquarters.
A report from the MPD- General Assignment Investigation Section said the incident took place at around 10 a.m. A shot reportedly rang out from the office of the MPD-ANCAR after a cop assigned there accidentally discharged his service firearm, a 9MM cal.
According to the report, the bullet went through the glass window of the theft and robbery section and then above the head of a woman who was then said to be seated on a bench while awaiting the inquest of her husband.
The same bullet reportedly also hit the glass window of the homicide section.
I was told that an investigation was done to establish liability. We have yet to hear what happened so far.
These two embarrassing events happening just a couple of days within each other brings to memory the times when the MPD was headed by General Avelino Razon and General Hermogenes Ebdane.
The two happen to be gun enthusiasts and thus required all MPD policemen to constantly practice firing, even organizing shooting competitions on a regular basis and mandating the cops to join.
As the proverbial pen is to journalists, so is a gun to every policeman.
Day in day out, an age-old adage says that whenever a cop steps out of the house, one of his feet is already in the grave.
Needless to say, his very life depends on his service firearm.
This is the very reason why policemen first and foremost, should be fully acquainted with their own carry guns.
The ordinary citizens depend on our policemen to protect us round-the-clock and if our cops fail in the basic gun handling department, how safe is the public from getting accidentally hit in case of an encounter or an operation?
Hearing two cops mishandling their very own firearms is truly worrisome. Scary.
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