Arrest, not kill
This is a comment on all these incidents committed by police officers: the killing of Kian delos Santos and Carl Arnaiz in Caloocan.
What amazes me is the matter of obvious incompetence of police chiefs as shown in the failure to impart instructions to subordinates on the proper procedure on effecting arrests of criminals, particularly drug addicts.
This I humbly state myself as a former police chief in my hometown of Balamban, Cebu, more than 50 years ago. (I became police chief in March 1963 at the age of 25, the youngest in Cebu province, and perhaps, in the entire country at the time.)
First, it must be clearly emphasized to officers on patrol duty that the gun they carry is not intended to kill people but for self-defense. Thus, when a man commits a crime in their presence, the policeman or officer should shout in a loud voice for him to stop and if the man ignores it, then he fires a warning shot to frighten him.
Second, if the offender is armed with a gun or some bladed weapon, and intends to fight, then the policeman should fire his gun pointing to the arm or leg, not to the body. But if the man pulls out his gun or bladed weapon, this is the crucial moment that the police officers — in self-defense — can kill the offender.
Finally, the officer should help and bring the offender to a hospital instead of firing more shots to be sure that the man is dead.
President Duterte’s use of the word “kill” in his statements or speeches is being interpreted by dull police officers to mean that, in the performance of their tasks to prevent criminality, they have the right to kill the offenders even without valid or just reason.
My humble advice is that instead of using or uttering the phrase “I will kill you,” it should be amended and uttered in a loud voice “I will arrest you.” But will the President and the national police chief listen?
ROMUALDO M. JUBAY, Caloocan City
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