MANILA, Philippines – He was reportedly enraged when told to wear a face mask at a checkpoint, and tried to attack cops with a scythe, and so Junie Dungog Piñar from Nasipit town in Agusan del Norte was shot dead by the policemen, according to a police report released on Saturday, April 4.
The shooting of Piñar, a 63-year-old farmer, was reported by several local and international media, the incident being the first case where police killed a civilian a day after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered state security forces to shoot dead any quarantine violators who would endanger their lives. (READ: 'Shoot them dead': Duterte orders troops to kill quarantine violators)
News reports said that a village health worker cautioned Piñar for not wearing a mask at a police checkpoint. A supposedly drunk Piñar got angry and attacked the health workers and the police with a scythe.
A police officer who tried but failed to pacify Piñar ended up shooting him dead, the South China Morning Post reported.
Netizens slammed Duterte for giving the shoot-to-kill order and his government’s overall approach to curb the spread of the coronavirus that has left several poor families hungry and unable to cope with the economic impact of the community quarantine measures.
Duterte has a proclivity for giving such orders. In his administration’s war against illegal drugs, he has repeatedly encouraged police to shoot dead drug suspects who would resist arrest.
Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno has taken up the cudgels for families of the victims of extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration.
Diokno said in an episode of Rappler Talk aired on Saturday, April 4, that the “use of deadly force is really meant to be as a last resort.” (WATCH: Rappler Talk: Chel Diokno on the Rule of Law in a pandemic)
“Someone who would be arrested could be subdued without having to use a firearm,” Diokno said.
Duterte has placed only the entire Luzon in lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, but several local governments in the Visayas and Mindanao have enforced their own "enhanced communityb quarantine" that limits movement of people. (READ ALSO: [OPINION] Can we beat the coronavirus with ‘discipline’?)
Even then, as the lockdown enters its final week, the number of coronavirus cases in the country hovered over the 4,000 mark. On Monday, April 6, the Department of Health (DOH) said that 163 have died while 73 patients have recovered. (READ: PH coronavirus cases jump to 3,660, death toll hits 163)