MANILA, Philippines - Where were the law enforcers on Friday, January 4, when a drug addict went on a shooting rampage in Kawit, Cavite?
The Palace said the incident which resulted in the killing of 8 people and injury to 9 others should be a wake up call for law enforcers, following reports that the police responded too late to calls for help.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said there was a reported 30-minute lapse before the policemen arrived at the crime scene.
Valte said the incident should push the police to more aggressively flush out loose firearms and illegal drugs.
Ronald Bae, a reported drug addict, went on a shooting spree on Friday morning, attacking his neighbors with a .45-caliber pistol.
Police investigation confirmed that Bae was high on drugs when he carried out the rampage, but information reaching Rappler indicated there were marital problems that caused him to do drugs and go shooting.
Shorter response time
In Metro Manila, National Capital Regional Police Office chief Leonardo Espina was strictly implementing a two-minute response rule in the law enforcers' area of responsibility.
"Anywhere within your post, you should be able to arrive within two minutes. Perhaps, the provincial director can also look into the response time of those who responded if there is a precinct nearby," Valte said over dzRB.
Police officials, particularly in Region 4-A, should further heighten their drive against illegal drugs,” Valte said.
Valte also fended off accusations that politics hindered effective police work in Cavite. Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla was reported to have complained about not getting enough policemen in the province because he was not an ally of President Aquino.
“In peace and order, there is no politics. We’ve always been very adamant about that. And if Governor Jonvic Remulla has any concerns, and I’m sure the leadership of the PNP will be more than happy to coordinate, and to listen to him,” Valte said.
Valte also said they would have to await the results of the investigation to determine whether the suspect was part of a drug syndicate.
Friday’s shooting happened in Barangay Tabon 1 in Kawit, Cavite, at around 9:30 am. The suspect, who traded shots with responding policemen, was shot to death by the authorities an hour-and-a-half later.
Witnesses said the suspect entered several houses and shot everyone inside, including children. The police also found sachets containing suspected drugs inside Bae’s house.
Witnesses also said Bae was assisted by a certain John Paul Lopez in the rampage. They said Lopez helped Bae reload his pistol. Lopez is now in police custody and faces criminal charges. He claims he was forced to assist Bae after the latter threatened to kill him. - Rappler.com