“I will never let him down.”
With this statement, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa assured Police Oficer 1 Gester Versoza, who killed his attacker in Manila on Saturday morning that his case will get a fair hearing.
De la Rosa said in a press briefing on Monday that he will help Versoza, a member of the Station 7 Jose Abad Santos intelligence unit, after he was subjected to criticism for chasing and killing Reynaldo Lee Jr.
“I will not abandon that policeman. I will surely help him as it is very clear that the the victim attacked him first. He shot the victim as a last resort, to defend himself,” the PNP chief said.
He added that policemen should always prioritize surviving when in an incident with a suspect.
“If you are caught in an encounter with the enemy, you should survive. No one will feed your family. Think of them. Who wilI take care of your children?” de la Rosa said.
Versoza shot Lee eight times after the latter allegedly stabbed him in the chest.
Lee died at the University of Santo Tomas Hospital where he was brought after the incident.
Based on the closed-circuit televison footage in the area, Versoza was heading for home in his motorcycle when Lee kicked the motorcycle then attacked him with a Swiss knife after he fell on the ground.
However, despite promising his full support, de la Rosa said Versoza must still face charges for what he did.
“As a matter of procedure, he should be charged because someone was killed. The victim’s family will surely file a complaint,” he said.
Versoza will face homicide charges.