Was it a staged summary execution? Apparently not. No one has yet questioned the claim that the policemen chased the suspects before they reached that Q.C. area where the encounter happened. Note that the shooting occured in a busy street, with thousands of spectators and possible witnesses.
But was it an overkill? Did the policemen kill the then immobilized suspects? Or was there still apparent threat on the lives of the policemen forcing them to neutralize the source of the threat? Given what media is showing, everything is hazy. An independent probe is therefore necessary.
As a lawyer, I am sworn and I am committed to upholding every man’s right to life. No one, premised on prevailing laws, has the right to exact justice on his own volition. Every alleged transgressor of the law must be presumed innocent until the requisite processes are observed and the courts of law declare him otherwise.
But then again, in the case of the now-controversial incident, the same presumption must be applied to the accused trigger-happy policemen. What’s happening now, is that media, particularly ABS-CBN which prides itself of having taken an exclusive footage of the shootout, rams down the public’s throat, its own version of what happened. ABS-CBN now takes it as its own crusade to lead the viewers to the conclusion it has reached. And we all know how influential media is in shaping public opinion. Regardless of what transpires in the investigations, the guilt of the policemen are already ingrained in the public mind.
Disappointingly, on the same boat was the head of the Commission on Human Rights which has yet to conduct an investigation but has already displayed melodramatic reactions on-cam. True, the mandate of the CHR is to ensure utmost respect for human rights, but it doesn’t command partiality to the dead or the complainant.