Hard drinks turned 'friendly' cop into mindless shooter

MANILA - PO1 Daniel Castillo of Manila Police District was a "friendly" man before he turned "dead drunk" on New Year's Eve and started firing shots in the air.

"Friendly sa beat. Kada kanto na yayain siyang uminom, umiinom. Ayon, nalasing, nagpaputok. Sobrang lasing. Langong lango (He was friendly at the beat. At every street corner where he was offered a drink, he drank. He became drunk, started firing. He was so drunk)," said Chief Inspector Arsenio Riparip , head of the MPD-general assignment and investigation section (GAIS), the unit that probed Castillo.

Riparip said Castillo was "not even aware" why his fellow Tondo policemen disarmed and arrested him that night.

Castillo was still in uniform when he was brought to MPD-GAIS, said Riparip.

Castillo, who joined the Philippine National Police in 2014, was tasked to patrol the stretch of Benita Street in Gagalangin, Tondo on New Year's eve.

Before his deployment, his superiors warned all cops: "Walang magpapaputok." (Nobody will fire a gun.)

Riparip said it was a "strict" order from PNP Director General Rolando Dela Rosa and MPD Director Joel Coronel.

After all, the PNP announced that it would not seal the muzzles of policemen's firearms, a tradition observed for years to prevent cases of indiscriminate firing during the holiday celebration, to show that the police force was responsible and disciplined.

Like other policemen assigned that day, Castillo's tour of duty was 5 p.m. to 5 a.m.

While patrolling his beat, Castillo reportedly "accepted every drink offered to him from beer to brandy," said Riparip.

At 11:56 p.m., the residents Castillo was friendly with got scared of him as he "fired shots in the air while walking along the street."

"Sobrang dami daw ng putok ng baril natakot yong mga tao (He was just firing way too many shots, the people got scared)," Riparip said, adding "ng naubos niya yong isang magazine, nag reload pa ulit (when he finished one magazine, he reloaded)."

Castillo's superior, Supt. Roberto Domingo of Raxabago police station, ordered his arrest.

Riparip said MPD-GAIS filed an alarm and scandal complaint against Castillo at the city prosecutor office.

The rookie cop was also slapped with an administrative complaint.

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