The Cavite Police on Sunday refuted the accusation that a quarantine violator was purportedly mauled by its officers upon arrest, which has since gone viral on social media and condoned by the public.
Director of the Cavite Provincial Police, Col. Marlon Santos, claimed in a statement that Ronald Campo had sustained self-injuries as he tried to escape several times from police custody in General Trias City last Wednesday.
“Statements from witnesses were also deemed clear that self-inflicting injuries have been sustained by Ronald Campo while escaping contrary to what is being circulated in the media that he was physically harmed by the Police Officers but by his actuations under the influence of liquor placed his own life in peril and danger,” Santos explained.
He reiterated his support for the police’s action. Policemen “exhibited good faith by immediately bringing the suspect to the hospital for medical attention,” he added.
Santos appealed to the general public to be conscientious and not be swayed by emotions in such cases. He committed to have the police investigate the matter further.
“Let us not be swayed by rush judgments based on emotions. Let us further look on the other side of the coin and see what is true based on evidence, facts and statements coming from the witnesses,” he said.
Malacañang earlier ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to investigate the incident after reports of Campo, a factory worker in Cavite, sustained severe injuries after being mauled by the police who were accosting him.
According to the police, Campo was detained for violating the liquor ban and curfew, and going outside without a quarantine pass in his possession.
Campo said that after he fell asleep upon finishing the penalty exercise given to violators, he was awoken by a policeman and another man, and was brought to a dimly lit area where he was allegedly beaten up.
Campo said he ran for his life and ended up in the house of an old man, where police cornered him and he lost consciousness.
However, the Cavite police has different claims. According to them, on Campo’s first attempt to escape, he had “accidentally slipped and bumped at the motorcycle parked near the station that caused his bruises and injuries on his arm and face.”
When Campo was brought back to the station, he once again ran away and “fell on the pavement twice before he finally jumped over a creek with a knee deep muddy water” with broken bottles and garbage and “managed to disappear in darkness.”
Campo then climbed a concrete fence topped with barbed wire and went to the roof of the house of a certain Jaime Mission where he fell to the ground, Santos said. While running towards Mission’s house, Campo took a hostage who was supposedly armed with a long wood and struck him on the head several times, according to the provincial police chief.
“The suspect moved again to the fence and jumped over the adjacent residential property and later fell on the empty swimming pool. He was finally cornered and handcuffed by chasing policemen,” Col. Santos said.
As he was being brought to the police station, the suspect tried to run away again, this time towards Barangays Vibora and Corregidor, but to no avail. Police claimed that Campo tripped on a rope installed as a barrier as part of a lockdown measure, and “tumbled down hardly causing his chest and face to smash on the pavement.”
“On that circumstance, suspect was not able to get up anymore. Immediately, policemen upon learning that the suspect obtained body injuries, they rushed the suspect to Gen. Trias Medicare Hospital.”
Col. Santos said they obtained this narrative from the ocular inspection done by the chief of Cavite Police’s Internal Affairs Service in the area as part of their investigation. Several individuals and witnesses were also interviewed.