Suspects were armed and dangerous: MPD says footage of anti-drug op in Tondo inconclusive

Image capture from ABS-CBN's YouTube video
  • Manila Police District (MPD) chief said CCTV footage of anti-drug op in Tondo incomplete
  • He contended operatives had to be careful as targets were armed and dangerous
  • He also explained why the injured suspects were brought to the hospital belatedly

MANILA, Philippines – The chief of Manila Police District (MPD) said it is too soon to label the anti-drug operation in Tondo as a case of extrajudicial killing as the CCTV footage of the incident was incomplete and inconclusive.

According to Chief Superintendent Joel Napoleon Coronel, there actually was a gunbattle between the police operatives and the targets as evidenced by the locals running away from the area.

“Nakita naman po na nagtatakbuhan ‘yung mga tao kasi nagkaroon po ng parang habulan nung panahon na ‘yun dahil nagkaalarma na ‘yung mga pulis sa area at ‘yung mga suspects ay nagtangkang lumaban at nagpaputok sa pulis ay doon po nagkaroon ng encounter,” he told ABS-CBN.

[We can see people running because there was a chase at that time between the presence of the police raised an alarm and the suspects tried to shoot back at them.  That’s when the encounter happened.]

Coronel said his men had to be careful as their targets already had past records and were listed as armed and dangerous.

“Ito po ay high-risk police operation dahil ang mga report, mga armado at nanlaban po ‘yung mga taong ito dahil po may mga record na ito sa iba-ibang krimen,” he said.

[This was a high-risk police operation because as per reports, the targets were armed and fought back because they already have records of other crimes.]

As for the contention that it took too long for the lawmen to bring the wounded suspects to the hospital, Coronel said they could not leave the area immediately as there were two armed suspects they were looking for.

“May dalawang target pa na suspect sa area, hindi pa ma-clear ‘yung area. Hindi pa makalabas agad ang ating mga pulis dahil bukod sa 3 na na-identify na involve sa trafficking, may 2 pang hinahanap diyan. Masikip at medyo delikado ang lugar na ‘yan dahil maraming krimen ang nangyayari diyan,” he said.

[There were two target suspects who were still in the area, so it was not cleared yet. Our police could not leave yet because aside from the three who were identified as involved in trafficking, there were still 2 being searched there. The area was narrow and dangerous as many crimes were being committed there.]

A video was shared by ABS CBN via YouTube: