Cops not instigators of Paranaque demolition row, says Robredo

April 25, 2012 9:47 pm 

MANILA, April 25 – Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo on Wednesday said that policemen did not initiate the confrontation that lead to the death of a protester and wounding of 39 others prior to the demolition activity at Silverio Compound, Barangay Isidro, Paranaque last April 23.

"Our policemen there did not initiate the row. The persons who started the confrontation were the ones who hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at our officers. They did that even as negotiations between authorities and residents were still ongoing," Robredo said belying claims made by some militant groups that the police started the incident.

He also said that firing of warning shots was not in itself an excessive act in the part of police officers, adding that it prevented the confrontation from being more bloody.

Robredo added that initial ballistic examination by the National Bureau of Investigations on the fatality seemed to indicate that the entry wound corresponds to a bullet coming from .38 caliber revolver or 9mm pistol.

He also said that this could not come from the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team unit on duty at Silverio Compound as the latter were only armed with M-16 automatic rifles.

"Wounds caused by M-16 bullets are generally bigger but this not mean that we are now stopping our investigation," Robredo said.

The DILG chief added that one of the eight arrested protesters, identified as Victor Etrata, was found positive for powder burns, indicative that the latter has discharged a weapon of short during the row.

Robredo added that they were still investigating the matter to really determine who fired the fatal round. (PNA)



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