MANILA, Philippines — A driver who allegedly tried to run down traffic and police personnel and refused orders to stop his vehicle was in critical condition after members of a police Special Weapons and Tactics team fired at him to prevent him from posing more danger to others.
Valenzuela police chief Senior Superintendent Ronaldo Mendoza acknowledged there had been no exchange of fire between Gregory Frank Baquiran and the SWAT personnel who caught up with him at a gasoline station in Paso De Blas.
He explained that the SWAT personnel felt they had no other choice but open fire because he posed a threat to them and others, as well as to property.
But he also admitted that a motorcycle rider was wounded by a stray bullet during the incident.
The shooting of Baquiran ended a chase that started in Malabon where he alleged attempted to run down a traffic enforcer of the Metro Manila Development Authority who tried to book him for a violation.
MMDA personnel gave chase and sought police assistance.
The Valenzuela police immediately mounted a dragnet. However, Baquiran led police on a car chase and, when a patrol car managed to block his path, rammed into its door as a policeman was about to alight.
Police then shot out the tires of Baquiran’s vehicle but he continued to drive it “running flat,” Mendoza said.
It was at this point that the SWAT personnel determined that Baquiran posed a real threat and could have been armed.
Baquiran will be facing a host of charges. However, the seven members of the SWAT team involved in the shooting have also been relieved pending investigation of the incident.