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Army orders investigation into police assassination of ex-soldier Winston Ragos

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TRAUMATIZED. Retired Corporal Winston Ragos, who was gunned down by a cop in Quezon City, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from his soldier years. Photo courtesy of the Ragos family

TRAUMATIZED. Retired Corporal Winston Ragos, who was gunned down by a cop in Quezon City, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from his soldier years. Photo courtesy of the Ragos family

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine army has ordered an investigation into the murder of former Corporal Winston Ragos In an argument with the police in Quezon City on Tuesday April 21, the army spokesman, Colonel Ramon Zagala, said in a statement on Thursday April 23.

“Lieutenant-General Gilbert Gapay, commanding general [of the] The Philippine Army has ordered an army judge advocate to conduct an investigation in coordination with the Philippine national police to bring justice to Ragos’ death, “said Zagala.

At around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Ragos angered the cops at a checkpoint along Maligaya Drive in Barangay Pasong Putik, Quezon City, for staying outside despite the coronavirus locking.

Although raising his arms in surrender, Ragos defied the orders of the cops to fall to the ground. When he turned to them and appeared to be looking for something in his shoulder bag, police sergeant Daniel Florendo Jr shot him twice in the chest. Ragos was then taken to the Commonwealth Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:57 p.m.

Witnesses had insisted with the cops that Ragos was mentally ill. The military confirmed on Thursday, saying the former corporal suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“In January 2017, Ragos received full disability leave from military service, with pension and other assistance, after being diagnosed with a mental disorder. For a soldier, war injuries are not only physical but also mental , and their scars are not always visible, “said Zagala.

Ragos had served with the 31st Army Infantry Battalion in the 9th “Spear” Infantry Division, headquartered in Camarines Sur, where soldiers often fight communist guerrillas. His mother Merlyn Ragos said the ex-soldier suffered trauma or war shock during his years of service.

Ragos may have acquired his condition when his detachment suffered heavy attacks and was “almost under control,” said Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo, spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), in a separate statement.

Many soldiers suffer from PTSD after experiencing combat, and AFP has long argued for a more comprehensive program to address it.

“The Philippine army is saddened by the loss of its former soldier … We sincerely condolive to his family for this unfortunate event,” said Zagala.

“The Philippine military seeks to expose the plight of former soldiers struggling with mental health problems. Even if they are no longer soldiers, they continue to wage a silent and permanent battle,” added the army colonel. .

Florendo, the police officer who shot Ragos, is now facing criminal and administrative charges, according to the Quezon City Police District.

Police said they found a 38-caliber revolver loaded in Ragos’ shoulder bag.

The incident of Barangay Pasong Putik came three weeks after President Rodrigo Duterte told police and the military to “tear down” people who “cause trouble” during the foreclosure of Luzon and many other parts of the Philippines, a measure to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. – Rappler.com

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