Army seeks NBI probe of ex-soldier’s slay

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Army seeks NBI probe of ex-soldier’s slayThe 33-year-old Ragos, who was discharged from the service in 2017 and had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), was seen having an argument with Florendo as residents urged the police officers to calm down, citing the ex-soldier’s mental condition. But Ragos reached into his sling bag, prompting Florendo to shoot the ex-soldier twice, fatally wounding him. In statements issued on Thursday, Quezon City Police District (QCPD) chief Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo maintained that Florendo exercised “maximum tolerance” and that he only made a “judgment call” with his life in imminent danger. ‘Evidence has to be secured’ Investigators, Montejo said, found a loaded .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver with a defaced serial number inside Ragos’ bag—a claim strongly disputed by the ex-soldier’s family who said he was unarmed.

A video of the incident showed a policeman picking up Ragos’ bag from the ground and placing it in a vehicle shortly after he was shot. The chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, justified the way the police handled the evidence, insisting that standard operating procedure was followed. “The first responders have to secure the crime scene. If there were guns, they could pick them up. If a [policeman] was involved in the crime, the evidence has to be secured right away and turn them over to the scene of the crime operatives or the officer on case,” the NCRPO chief said. Self-defense PNP directorial staff chief Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, a former QCPD chief, also came to Florendo’s defense, saying he shot Ragos in self-defense. On Friday, however, the QCPD filed criminal and administrative charges against Florendo. This was after Gapay wrote NBI Director Eric Distor to ask for an independent probe. Montejo explained that only Florendo was charged, as a “principal suspect,” because there was “no conspiracy established” with the four other “trainee’’ policemen who accosted Ragos. Florendo and the four other officers were ordered confined to Camp Karingal. Sinas said “Florendo remains a member of the police force while investigation is ongoing’’ and “will only perform administrative duties and will not be involved in operations.”