At around 8pm Thursday last week, the gated BF Homes subdivision in Parañaque was perturbed by a car chase between the police and a black Mitsubishi Montero Sport. During the pursuit, which lasted some 45 minutes according to news reports, about five cars were hit by the SUV, until the cops fired a hail of bullets at the vehicle, killing its driver on El Grande Avenue.
When the TV stations first reported the news--including TV5, from which the screenshot above was grabbed--the Montero Sport driver was proclaimed as a carnapping suspect, and the vehicle a "hot car." The guy deserved it, didn't he?
Well, the following day, another story appeared in Pilipino Star Ngayon, a sister publication of Philippine Star. In the article, the shooting victim was identified as Timothy James Alon, an employee of "Mitsubishi Motors." Alon's Facebook page shows a business card stating his job as sales executive of Peak Motors Philippines, a Mitsubishi dealership located at 857 EDSA corner Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City.
It turned out that Alon's Montero Sport wasn't a hot car, but was personally owned by him. The intriguing part was the police's revelation that a gun and four sachets of shabu had been recovered inside the SUV. The gun, they said, was the firearm Alon used to shoot at them during the car chase.
Now, the new angle is this: The cops spotted the Montero Sport being driven waywardly. When they tried to stop it, they said, the driver sped off, leaving the police with no other choice but to give chase.
At this point, it's hard to tell the truth from media hogwash. Questions need to be asked, chief of which is:
How come Alon was initially tagged as a car thief, and the Montero Sport a hot car?
Was this a case of mistaken identity? Were incriminating items planted inside the SUV to justify the shooting? What does this say about our police force's intelligence-gathering? And what does it say about the accuracy of information released by the authorities to the media?
What do you think?