Roque denies Duterte's shoot to kill order triggered ex-soldier's death

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 23) — Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque dismissed speculations that President Duterte's previous order to shoot quarantine violators dead was behind a cop's decision to kill an army veteran in Quezon City Wednesday afternoon.

"Wala sigurong ganoon... Wala pong relasyon ito sa kahit anong sinabi ng Presidente at hindi rin po sinabi ng pulis na ipinatutupad niya ang isang order ng Presidente," Roque said, calling such claims baseless and "not factual."

[Translation: There's nothing like that... This is not related to anything that the President said, and the policeman also didn't say that he was implementing any order from the President.]

Roque extended condolences to the family of the late Winston Ragos, a retired military officer who was shot dead by Police Master Sergeant Daniel Florendo, Jr. at a checkpoint in Fairview. 

Roque cited results of a preliminary investigation from the Philippine National Police that indicated a cop claimed he thought Ragos was pulling out a gun from his bag after a shouting match near the checkpoint at Barangay Pasong Putik. 

He dismissed allegations the policeman who shot the former army officer had been acting upon Duterte's April 1 pronouncement that police officers and soldiers should gun down quarantine violators who would put their lives in danger.

PNP Chief General Archie Gamboa later on clarified that shooting is their "last resort" when dealing with violators.

READ: 'Don't threaten the hungry with bullets': Groups, lawmakers condemn Duterte's order vs. lockdown violators

"Nangangako ang gobyerno, ang Presidente na magkakaroon ng patas na imbestigasyon dito [The government and the President will ensure a fair investigation]," Roque said in a Thursday briefing, adding that it was sad to hear the victim was also a public servant.

Ragos, 34, served during the 2017 Marawi siege and fought Maute rebels to reclaim the city in Mindanao. The victim's mother said her son had been suffering from post-traumatic disorder and had been dealing with some mental health issues.

Gamboa said in a Thursday interview with CNN Philippines that Florendo exercised a "judgment call" at the scene, as he assumed that Ragos tried to draw his firearm to fight back. The top cop added that an administrative probe on the police officer is underway, noting that complaints will be filed should authorities find lapses.

A witness said the victim did not have a gun inside his bag and only carried his quarantine pass. Another said that the police on site have been warned that Ragos was not in the right state of mind and asked for them to stand down, but to no avail.