MANILA – A tragic miscommunication between barangay tanod and Mandaluyong City police has led to the shooting deaths of two civilians on Thursday night.
Two other persons were wounded seriously after the cops fired on the wrong parties in a car chase following an alert by the village watchmen that they were pursuing suspects in a shooting incident.
The shooting by the police happened at the corner of Wack Wack and Shaw Boulevard.
According to Senior Supt. Moises Villaceran, chief of police of Mandaluyong, the police assigned to Barangay Addition Hills had received word from the tanod that they were in pursuit of suspects in an earlier shooting incident at Freedom Park, at Block 22 Extension, where a woman had been hit, and that the suspects’ getaway vehicle was a Mitsubishi Adventure.
The victims said the tanod had insisted on apprehending them even though they were shouting to the village watchmen that this was an emergency and they were bringing the injured woman to hospital.
The AUV was lent by the engineer of the construction company at the scene of the original melee, and inside were six construction workers whose help had been sought to take her to hospital.
That error of the tanod in apprehending the AUV was compounded when police arrived on the scene and started shooting at the vehicle, leaving two dead – including the woman who had just been earlier wounded in the first shooting incident and was being rushed to hospital – and two others in critical condition.
The woman, Jonalyn Ambaan, and one Jomar Jayaon, a construction worker, died in hospital. Seriously wounded were Danilo Santiago and Eliseo Aluad, both construction workers.
Ambaan and Aluad, live-in partners, were both trying to pacify a group that was quarreling when the first shooting began.
The police said later they were led to start shooting at the vehicle, because the tanod had opened fire on the white Adventure.
Part of the investigation is why the barangay tanod were bearing guns.
Mandaluyong pollice chief Villaceran said all the policemen involved in the incident, as well as the tanod, have been disarmed. They will all undergo paraffin tests and the guns used will be subjected to forensic tests.
WATCH THE NEWS5 REPORT ON THE INCIDENT:
Scene of the crime operatives remain at the scene, and are determining the trajectory of the bullets that hit the AUV. In all, 34 shells were found at the scene.
According to a relative of Aluad, the occupants of the AUV repeatedly begged and shouted at the police that they were simply on a mission of mercy, to bring a wounded woman to hospital, but they were ignored.
“Niratrat sila ng nga pulis, eh yung kapatid ko walang sugat; yung sister-in-law ko lang ang may sugat sa ulo . . . Tapos sumisigaw siya na ’emergency ‘to, dalhin namin sa ospital!’ Hindi daw siya tinigilan ng kakaratrat ng baril, pababa pa naman yung baril nila kaya may mga tama sila sa loob [The police just fired at will. My brother was originally unhurt, only my sister-in-law was wounded. He was shouting at them, ‘this is an emergency, we’re taking her to hospital!’ but they were ignored.].”
It appeared the barangay tanod who originally drew their guns on the AUV occupants had mistaken the Adventure as the getaway vehicle of the suspects in the first shooting incident where Jonalyn was injured.