By Aaron Recuenco
General Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), has ordered the police’s Internal Affairs Service (IAS) to take the lead in the investigation of the police operation in Rodriguez, Rizal that led to the death of a three-year-old girl.
“I have directed the IAS to take the lead already and expedite the conduct of the investigation because it was the Regional Investigation Division of Region 4A leading the investigation,” said Albayalde.
The IAS is generally tasked to run after erring policemen and investigate lapses and commission of irregularities by policemen in the conduct of their duty.
The move, according to Albayalde, is to expedite the conduct of the probe amid public uproar over the incident which was aggravated by former PNP chief and now Senator Ronald dela Rosa’s ‘sh*t happens’ remark.
On June 29, anti-narcotics operatives of Rodriguez town conducted an operation against two alleged drug pushers and resulted in the death of Renato Dolorfina. A policeman, Senior Master Sergeant Conrado Cabigao, was also killed in the shootout.
Police said the three-year old girl Myca was used as a human shield by his father but this was disputed as there were claims that the girl ran to his father and was eventually hit during the crossfire.
The incident drew strong condemnation from various sectors and in the social media as they questioned the possible lapses in the conduct of operations.
Albayalde said that they are currently waiting for the results of the ballistics examination on all the firearms of the police to determine which among them was fired and eventually hit the child.
More than 6,000 drug pushers and users were killed in various police operations from 2016. In some cases, there were innocent civilians; some of them children, who are caught in the crossfire.