By Jullie Yap Daza
Disarm, disable, do not kill. After these many months, it has to be a mystery why no one among gun enthusiasts, they who own and fire guns for fun – a man’s hobby, so called – has asked in a nice, professional way, why Oplan Tokhang cannot teach cops how to disarm and disable without killing. We have seen too many bodies sprawled in the same pose on some blood-drenched street in some dim ‘n dark neighborhood, and heard the same refrain, “He pulled a gun and fired first.”
Maybe I have watched too many cop shows, but are our policemen such sharp shooters that whenever they fire their guns, the bullets go straight to the chest or head of the target? Have they never practiced aiming at a leg or arm, a shoulder, a finger? Never having had a chance to shoot, I would say, naively, that it requires greater skill to hit those smaller parts. Four years in the police academy and how many into the job, are cops as quick upstairs as they are quick on the draw?
Shoot-to-kill orders are a last resort to terminate a suspect who is notoriously armed and dangerous – that seems to be the rule. It’s also generally assumed that policemen are not licensed to kill, though they are trained – and expected – to be discriminating shooters, more so than their idiotic, drug-crazed, or sleep-deprived prey.
Read the lips of the Commander in Chief: “Murder and homicide or whatever, unlawful killing is not allowed. Your duty requires you to overcome the resistance of the person you are arresting. If he resists, with violence, placing in jeopardy the lives of my policemen and of course the military, you are free to kill the idiot.”
After more than 3,000 “drug-related deaths,” one would suppose that the cops have had enough target practice. Now that the President has made it clear that there will be no more murders and homicides in the drug war, only self-defense to overcome violent resistance, at least one city, Caloocan, has signalled an “all quiet” on the buy-bust-bury front since the burial of Kian de los Santos. Law-abiding, drugs-hating citizens of the republic can only hope that PNP retrain its members in the art of inflicting not mortal but less-serious wounds, and give coffin makers a break.