Mandaluyong shooting survivor: Police did not listen to our plea we were innocent

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 29) — The police did not listen to the plea of the victims in the deadly Mandaluyong City shooting incident, a survivor recounted on Friday.

Survivor Mhury Jamon described how the police and barangay officials from Addition Hills continued to fire at them on late Thursday night despite their explanation they were bringing a shooting victim to a hospital.

"Sumisigaw kami na pasyente ang dala namin, pero hindi kami napakinggan, pinadapa lang kami. Pinadapa kami ng mga pulis. Pero hindi kami pinakinggan na pasyente ang dala namin," he said in a media briefing on Friday.

[Translation: We were yelling we are with a patient, but they did not listen. The police were asking us to stay on the ground. They did not listen we were with a patient.]

Jamon said the police issued a warning before they were fired upon.

"Bago sila magpaputok, nagsabi sila na, 'Kapag hindi kayo bumaba, papuputukan namin kayo.' Eh hindi nga po makababa... Hindi talaga makakababa kasi yung pasyente namin naka-dagan dun kay Kuya Bobot kaya hindi siya makakilos," he said.

Bobot or Eliseo Aluad is the live-in partner of Jonalyn Ambaon, the victim of the first shooting incident.

[Translation: Before they fired, they told us, "If you do not go down the vehicle, we will fire. They weren't able to go down because she was on top of Kuya Bobot.]

Jamon, along with two other colleagues from a construction site, alighted from the vehicle. But Ambaon, Aluad, the driver, and one other colleague stayed in the car despite the police's order.

He said the police did not understand why they weren't alighting, prompting the officials to open fire.

"Yung mga pulis ang nagpababa sa aming lahat. Kaya nagpaputok ng husto yung mga pulis kasi akala ayaw bumaba yung natitirang kasama namin sa sasakyan. Syempre, pulis, hindi bumaba ang subject, puputukan talaga pero hindi nila alam na hindi makababa," Jamon said.

[Translation: The police asked us to go down. They shot at us because they thought our colleagues did not want to exit the car. The police, when they see the subjects not following orders, they will open fire. But they did not know the subjects cannot go down.]

 

Jomar Hayaun, one of the passengers of the van, was killed in the shooting incident with the barangay officials and police, while Ambaon eventually died in the hospital.

Aluad and their companion Danilo Santiago remain in critical condition at the Mandaluyong City Medical Center.

Metro Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde on Friday said no firearms were recovered from the vehicle of the victims.

Police 'fed with wrong information' by barangay officials

Albayalde said barangay tanods (community watchmen) who responded to the first shooting gave the wrong information to police officers.

"Hindi natin masisi, siyempre, yung ating mga pulis doon na initial na thinking nila, may talagang armado," he said. "Kasi there was a shooting incident and 'yun yung fineed ng mga barangay sa kanila. Armado yung nasa Adventure."

[Translation: We, of course, can't blame our police officers for initially thinking that there really was someone armed in the car. There was a shooting incident and that was what the barangay fed to them. That there was an armed person in the Adventure.]

On Thursday night, barangay officers fired at a white Mitsubishi Adventure on Shaw Boulevard that was reported to be carrying the gunman of a prior shooting in Barangay Addition Hills in Mandaluyong.

However, now-sacked Mandaluyong police chief Senior Supt. Moises Villaceran said they found out the van's passengers were helping Ambaon and were rushing her to a hospital.

Read: 1 dead in case of 'mistaken identity' in Mandaluyong police shooting

"Allegedly habang hinahabol, nagpapaputok rin yung mga barangay tanod. So na-alarm yung mga pulis natin, nag-conduct kami ng dragnet operation para ma-corner ang suspect, not knowing na hindi pala ito ang sasakyan ng suspect," he said.

[Translation: Allegedly while chasing the van, the barangay tanod was also shooting them. So, the police was alarmed and we conducted a dragnet operation to corner the suspect, not knowing that this was not the suspect's vehicle.]

 

Albayalde added the barangay tanods that chased the Adventure were reportedly armed.

"Sinasabi nga nila, while on their way, pinuputukan na sila ng barangay tanod," he said. "'Yun ang lumalabas kasi based on the CCTV, merong may baril talaga doon sa loob ng mobile."

[Translation: They said that while they were on their way to the hospital, the barangay tanods were shooting at them. Based on the CCTV footage, the people inside the patrol car had guns.]

Executive Order 546 allows the Philippine National Police (PNP) to deputize barangay tanods as "force multipliers."

Meanwhile, a 2008 memorandum circular by the National Police Commission, the agency that handles the PNP, allows barangay tanods to be deputized as members of the Police Auxiliary Unit (PAU).

PAU members are allowed to carry firearms, provided that they wear proper uniform, finish the required training and that the gun is registered to the barangay.

Villaceran and 10 other officers have been placed under administrative relief following the deadly shooting that may be a case of mistaken identity.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Friday that the matter "will be investigated fully even if there appears to be excessive force utilized by police authorities."

"It's also proper that policemen involved have been disarmed and their movements restricted," Roque added.

CNN Philippines digital producer VJ Bacungan, senior correspondent Ina Andolong contributed to this report.