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Boy killed by bullet fired from cop’s gun laid to rest

MANILA, Philippines — Gian Habal, the 6-year-old boy who died after he was hit by a stray bullet fired from a policeman’s gun, was buried beside his father on Tuesday morning at Tala Cemetery in Caloocan City.

Before his father passed away, the boy had always told him of his dream to become a policeman.

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The Grade 1 pupil was playing outside their house on Mabini Street in North Caloocan on April 30 when a bullet hit his forehead.

His grandmother, Elsa Montañez, rushed outside and saw her daughter holding Habal. She immediately looked for the gunman and saw that the only person around was a uniformed policeman.

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Montañez said she grabbed Cpl. Rocky delos Reyes by the collar, but he fired three times into the ground, hitting her foot. She let go and the policeman fled on his motorcycle.

Suspect’s defense

After several hours, Delos Reyes surrendered to his superiors. He admitted shooting the 65-year-old Montañez but not the boy, claiming he had traded shots with a wanted drug suspect in the area.

“I am thankful because justice has been served,” Montañez told the Inquirer after the burial. She said that seeing Delos Reyes detained gave her assurance that he would pay for what he did.

Delos Reyes has been charged in the Caloocan City Prosecutor’s Office with murder, attempted murder and violation of the gun ban.

According to Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, National Capital Region Police Office director, ballistic test results showed that the gun Delos Reyes surrendered was the one used in shooting the boy.

No permit to carry

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Delos Reyes’ service firearm was confiscated in 2018 after he was charged with indiscriminate firing.

The gun he used on April 30 was his own although he did not have a permit to carry it from the Commission on Elections.

Montañez is still recovering from her bullet wound.

She described her grandson as a sweet boy. “Whenever I woke up, he was always beside me. When I told him to do his chores, he had no problem with it,” she said. “He was a good child, but he was [shot].”

“When I get sad, I think of things. I don’t want to think about what happened. I saw the blood coming out of his head. I don’t want to close my eyes,” Montañez said.

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TAGS: Elsa Montañez, Gian Habal, Rocky delos Reyes, slain child
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