President Duterte has committed to provide bullet proof vests and long firearms to the Highway Patrol Group following the death of an HPG officer in a shootout in Cavite City last Friday.
The video of the incident – starting when an HPG officer was talking to the occupant of the vehicle up to the shootout – went viral on social media.
Police Brig. Gen. Alexander Tagum, director of the HPG of the Philippine National Police, said Duterte made the commitment to enhance the capability of the HPG when he briefed the Chief Executive about the death of Police Chief Master Sgt. Julius Arcalas.
“He took notice that bullet proof vests, body cameras, and long firearms are the immediate needs of the HPG to fully capacitate its operatives,” said Tagum.
Arcalas was among a team of HPG personnel which flagged down a Sports Utility Vehicle at the Manila-Cavite Road around 1 p.m.
In the video, an HPG personnel was asking for an OR-CR (Official Receipt-Certificate of Registration) after the brand new car was flagged down for not having a conduction sticker and a license plate.
One of the occupants of the vehicle was seen arguing with an HPG officer. The driver of the vehicle was also seen closing the car window when his companion failed to produce even an identification card.
A few minutes later, the SUV tried to leave but was prevented by the HPG officers. A burst of gunfire was heard. Arcalas was shot and died during the incident.
The occupant of the vehicle, who allegedly fired a Bushmaster which has the same firepower like an Armalite rifle, turned out to be the husband of a Philippine Navy officer identified as Methusael Cebrian who reportedly used to be a cadet of the Philippine Military Academy and did not graduate.
The driver of the vehicle was able to escape.
“The commander-in-chief President Rodrigo Roa Duterte conveyed his deepest condolences to the bereaved family of the fallen HPG Tiger PCMS Julius Arcalas and to the HPG family. He made sure too that full assistance will be provided to the family,” said Tagum.
“While we mourn the passing away of our police officer, we will not falter because his sacrifice inspired and strengthened us all. We will make sure his death will not be in vain. Justice will be served,” he added.