Woodridge Park hostage case: DCPO wants full probe on incident

The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) wants an in-depth investigation on the death of an alleged mentally disturbed man who took hostage a family residing in the house he previously lived in at a posh subdivision in the city.

DCPO director Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum said he has directed the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) “to determine if there is a criminal or administrative liability in the part of our responders.”

The fatality was identified as Harland Ocampo Garvida, 40, a resident of Sapphire Street in NHA Bangkal, Barangay Talomo Proper, Talomo District.

He was allegedly shot by the responding policemen after he allegedly stabbed one of the Special Weapon and Tactical (SWAT) members when he held hostage a family in Barangay Ma-a, Talomo District at 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday.

DCPO spokesperson Sr. Insp. Maria Theresita Gaspan said the man, reportedly armed with a butcher knife, barged into the house occupied by Allen de Vera, 47, in Acacia Lane, Woodridge Park.

During the hostage-taking, De Vera reportedly grabbed his Glock 9mm.
However, Garvida was able to wrestle the possession of the gun.

The gun went off and hit the housemaid, identified as Anna Cecilia Flores, 46, a resident of Purok 25, Times Beach, Barangay 76-A, Talomo District.

De Vera reportedly still managed to call police assistance.

The police, including the SWAT team, arrived.

Chief Insp. Ronald Lao, the station commander, tried to negotiate but failed to talk with the alleged hostage taker.

Gaspan said SWAT member PO3 Junrell Tan was wounded during the rescue operation as Garvida attacked the responding policeman.

Tan sustained a stab wound on his left arm and his assault gear was damaged in the attack.

The SWAT member allegedly shot Garvida to temporarily immobilize him.

An ambulance medical team of 911 rushed Garvida to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) but he was declared dead on arrival.

De Vera and Flores were also brought to the SPMC.

De Vera suffered a fracture on his shoulder and injuries in different parts of his body. Flores sustained a gunshot wound in her right shoulder. Both are now in stable condition.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Garvida’s mother (first name withheld) said she could not believe her son could do the crime.

She said her son was diagnosed with schizophrenia, a mental disorder.

The mother revealed that they lived for about 10 years in the house where the incident happened.

“My son went there maybe to visit the house,” she said. “He was known there… the neighborhood, even the security guards. They knew him. He was not a stranger (in that community).”

“I want to clarify that my son had no purpose to go there just to kill a person,” she added.

Prior to the incident, she said her son asked permission to play basketball.

“He did not bring (any) knife,” she further said.

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