There should be no mercy for trigger-happy gun holders

February 09, 2019

CCTV footages won’t lie and once again are the ultimate witness in two incidents which recently attracted public attention: the case of a drunken man firing a gun indiscriminately in Manila and another man mauling a hapless prey before emptying the load of his pistol in the air in Quezon City.

The two incidents naturally sparked a public furor over wanton violation of the nationwide gun ban but I would say that these two were mere isolated cases since the PNP headed by General Oscar Albayalde  since last January 13 to date have already arrested nearly 1,200 violators of the Omnibus Election Code and seized nearly 8,000 firearms and other deadly weapons including explosives and live ammunition.

I would like to point out again the need for the public to be actively involved in reporting an ongoing crime since solving criminality is everybody’s concern, not only the police’s. In the case of the man who fired his gun indiscriminately in Malate, Manila last Thursday morning, NCRPO chief Director Gilor Eleazar is making sure he and his companions would be taught a lesson.

The drunken ‘pasikat’ identified as 29-year -old Marvjay Dominguez and his eight companions found themselves in a police detention facility after a night of drinking in Malate. On Friday afternoon, Eleazar paid a surprise visit at the MPD Station 9 to check the suspects and ensure they won’t be given any preferential treatment.

Eleazar was irked at Dominguez in particular since the man proved to be a very bad example to others when he was caught on CCTV camera firing a pistol in the air. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the incident and MPD policemen immediately rushed to the area to arrest the suspects after getting a call from a concerned citizen.

Eleazar thanked the anonymous caller who immediately informed the local police of the shooting incident a M.H. del Pilar Street corner Aldecoa Street in Malate around 5:40 a.m., Thursday. It was also a proof that the MPD headed by Chief Superintendent Vic Danao is always ready to respond to any emergency situation.

The CCTV footage showed MPD operatives surrounding the vehicles of the suspects minutes after receiving the distress call. I call on Eleazar and Danao to give medals to the arresting officers for their quick action. Just imagine what trouble will bring concerned MPD officials if their men were late in responding to the call and the suspects made good their escape.

Footages from a local barangay CCTV camera showed Dominguez alighting from a yellow Honda car before approaching his companion on board a white Honda car who later handed him a gun. The suspect then casually walked along the street and fired the gun repeatedly terrifying local residents. Investigators recovered 12 spent cartridges and slugs from a 9mm semi-automatic pistol at the scene. The firearm was also found hidden under the driver’s seat of the white car.

That 12 bullets could have snuffed the lives of 12 innocent persons that time. Thank  God that drunken Dominguez merely fired shots in the air and did not target people in the area. Although the suspect and his companions would be allowed to get out on bail since they were merely charged with alarm and scandal and violation of the Omnibus Election Code, I think that authorities should watch out for Dominguez since he has proven to be a ‘ma-oy’ who will go berserk each time he is under the influence of liquor. Hopefully, he and his companions are not into drugs.

The 2nd incident took place outside a restaurant in West Avenue, Q.C. wherein one man identified as a certain Dennis Castro was caught in CCTV firing a pistol after mauling one Raymond Anthony Deniega.  

Eleazar has ordered the Q.C. Police District headed by Chief Supt. Joyet Esquivel to thoroughly investigate the incident wherein Deniega was hospitalized after being mauled supposedly by Castro and one Jose Raphael de Rama around 5 in the morning last Sunday.

A CCTV footage showed Deniega being confronted by a man as he was about to board his car. Later, a 2nd male suspect punched the victim. The two then took turns in punching and kicking the victim before one of them smashed the windshield of Deniega’s sedan.

One of the suspects later poked a gun on the victim and fired the weapon in the air seven times. The two escaped after the incident and are still being hunted.  Reports said that Dela Rama was an ex-boyfriend of a woman who became a girlfriend of the victim after they parted ways.

Criminal charges for attempted homicide, serious physical injuries, grave threats and malicious mischief were initially filed by the victim against the suspects who will also be facing charges for gun ban violation.  My question is why are these people so very brave to fire their guns in the air when they know that there is a nationwide gun ban?

Last but not the least, I hope and pray that the Rizal police headed by my friend, Senior Supt. Lou Evangelista will be able to arrest the gunman who killed four people and wounded six others including two responding policemen in Teresa, Rizal early evening last Thursday.

Police must find out where the suspect identified as John Albert Araojo got the pistol which he used when he killed the victims without any provocation in Carissa Homes East 1 in Barangay Bagumbayan, Teresa past 6 p.m. Thursday.

Araojo, a native of San Andres, Catanduanes killed four innocent persons and wounded six others including two members of the Teresa Municipal Police Station identified as Police Officer 3 Emiliano Pantaleon and Police Officer 1 Eleuterio Mina. Last Friday, the two were taken to the Camp Crame General Hospital where they got initial financial support from the PSMBFI in the presence of another friend, Director Lyndon Cubos of the PNP Directorate for Personnel and Records Management.

I don’t know the real circumstances on how the suspect managed to shoot the two responding policemen. However, the incident should prompt the PNP leadership  to restudy their actions and protocols  when it comes to responding to reports of an active shooter. In the case of Araojo, all indications point to the possibility that he is a trained shooter with the way he managed to shoot his victims, the two policemen included before making good his escape on board a motorcycle which he stole at gunpoint from its 57-year-old driver. That woman was also lucky to be alive since it turned out that Araojo fired at least 14 bullets during his rampage. Did he merely run out of bullets when he stopped his carnage?