The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines -- The bullet that killed the 20-year-old resident of Silverio Compound did not come from the M16 rifles that members of the Paranaque Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit brought to Monday's demolition, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo on Wednesday.
He said this and the fact that one of the arrested residents tested positive for gun residue indicate that the fatality, Arnel Leonor Tolentino, may not have been killed by the police backing the demolition team at Silverio Compound in Paranaque City.
Robredo, in an interview, said an autopsy report from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) showed that the victim Arnel Leonor Tolentino sustained a gunshot wound probably from a 9mm or a caliber .38 revolver. SWAT members were armed with M16 rifles.
At the same time, one of the arrested Silverio residents identified as Vick Etrata tested positive for gunshot residue during the paraffin test.
"Hindi sigurado na pulis ang pumutok at nakatama (It's uncertain that it was the police that fired and hit the victim)," Robredo said.
He was quick to add, however, that results are still not conclusive and authorities are not discounting the possibility that it could have been from the ranks of policemen who fired the shot.
He also said eight SWAT men also tested positive during the paraffin test.
"We are determining the accountability of our policemen. Paraffin and ballistic tests have been conducted. All those caught on video hitting protesters will be investigated," Robredo said.
All those caught instigating violence among the ranks of the residents will also be charged.
Robredo, however, stressed that it was not the policemen who started the violence. "Ang nagsimula ng gulo hindi ang pulis at pinaghandaan nila ang panggulo (The melee did not start from the police and they were prepared to a brawl)," Robredo said.
He said he was bothered bt how prepared the protesters were at the time.