09 March 2006

Health Hazards of Mistaken Identity

"Ni-ratrat siya ng mga pulis."

That literally translates to being swarmed by a hail of bullets. Here, it is always a case of wanton, indiscriminate gunfire. You don't have to be in Iraq to dodge bullets.

It happened in the very early hours of Wednesday. A senior business executive living here in Manila, but working in Pampanga, returns home driving his Toyota Vios. He is Randolf Clarito, 46, a classic case of why mistaken identities can be very harmful to one's health.
[Manila Standard, 09 Mar 2006]--- A COMPANY EXECUTIVE cheated death Wednesday morning when seven policemen, apparently mistaking him for a carjacker, opened fire on his car in Pasig City while he was on his way home from Pampanga.

"I thought it was a miracle I survived after seeing what happened to my car," Clarito said. "There were three bullets in the headrest of the driver’s seat. I had bullet wounds on my legs and shoulders."

"I’d just come from Pampanga and there was a car blocking part of the road," Clarito said.

"When I turned right at less than 40 kilometers per hour, the firing started. I was really the target because the left side of my car was riddled with bullets. Shards from the left window fell on me, but I bowed my head and continued driving. I was scared and wanted to get out quickly, and I was afraid to stop."

Mr. Clarito claims he wasn't signaled to stop. What greeted him was a hail of live bullets. It is a miracle he even survived. He said he is filing charges against the policemen who mistook him for a carjacker.

My Theory: Those cops are probably tired, sleep-deprived, outdated (couldn't tell a Toyota Vios from a Toyota Altis, or an innocent from a criminal element), and easily frazzled to give any suspect a hail of bullets. There might also be a herd-effect involved here: when one policeman fires, the rest follow, even without making sure who or what the target is.

My Proposed Solution: Since this happened twice already by the same unit of TMG cops, I think a thorough neuropsychiatric examination is in order for the said cops, on top of whatever criminal charges need to be filed against them. If they fail the exam, they need to be treated immediately. They also need to be retrained on the rules of engagement.

Last I heard, policemen are supposed to protect and not fire indiscriminately on harmless civilians. How mentally sound are the police in carrying high-powered guns, and in discerning who to shoot at?

5 reactions:

rolly said...

Whatever happened to "presumption of innocence?" I'm sure that would have still been in operation even if PP1017 had not been lifted! This news is sooo scary!

Sassy Lawyer said...

hay naku, i said back then all candidates for public office should first pass a battery neuropsychiatric tests. more so, those who hold the guns.

watson said...

It's really a miracle he survived. Maybe he has a higher purpose in life. One of them must be exposing these trigger-happy cops so others may live.

Dr. Emer said...

Tito Rolly: Presumption of innocence? Not so, if you're as trigger-happy as the TMG cops. Bang! Bang! *LOL*

Sassy: Politicians, drivers, cops should all take the exam.

Watson: That may not also be a good idea. You know how retaliatory these people can be.

bayibhyap said...

the driver was not signalled to stop? how could this happen?

even if a toyota altis were to appear on the scene, it could have been someone else other than the criminal. surely there is more than one toyota altis in the philippines?

the cops are getting too trigger-happy. instead of protecting the people, they have become a menace unto themselves!