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Cop in boy’s killing axed from service

I hope he rots in jail, says victim’s grandmother

Metro police chief, Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, berates Police Cpl. Rocky delos Reyes who is accused of shooting the victim. —photo by GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — Elsa Montañez, the grandmother of the 6-year-old boy who died after he was shot by a policeman, has expressed satisfaction over the suspect’s dismissal from the service.

“I hope that justice will continue until the end, until he rots in jail,” Montañez told the Inquirer.

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In two separate dismissal orders dated June 14 and signed by Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, National Capital Region Police Office chief, Cpl. Rocky delos Reyes was found guilty of the administrative charges of grave misconduct, simple misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a police officer.

Not worthy of consideration

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“The respondent failed to present controverting evidence to disprove [his actions]. His reliance on the performance of duty is untenable and cannot be given due consideration,” one of the orders read.

Delos Reyes has 10 days to file a motion for reconsideration. Should the dismissal orders become final, he would forfeit all of his benefits in addition to being barred from working for the government.

The policeman was charged with killing Gian Habal, a Grade 1 student, who was playing in front of his house in Camarin, Caloocan City, on April 28.

A bullet struck the victim in the forehead and ballistic tests confirmed it came from the policeman’s firearm.

In his defense, Delos Reyes claimed he had traded gunshots with a drug suspect in the area.

Montañez, however, said she immediately went outside their house when she heard the gunshot. Aside from her grandson who was lying bloodied on the ground, there was no one else around except for Delos Reyes who was in uniform.

She added that when she tried to stop him from leaving, Delos Reyes fired three shots into the ground, hitting her foot.

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Almost two months after their ordeal, her foot was better although the boy’s mother was still grieving.

“She needs to get her mind off things and not think about what happened. It’s hard but we have to accept it. We can’t bring him back anymore,” Montañez said of her daughter.

Habal would have turned 7 years old on June 23. His family plans to mark his birthday at Tala Cemetery where he is buried.

The Caloocan City Regional Trial Court’s Branch 128 has scheduled for today the pretrial for the charges of murder, attempted murder and violation of the gun ban filed against Delos Reyes.

Lack of merit

Earlier, Judge Eleanor Kwong denied for lack of merit the policeman’s motion for reinvestigation and his petition to be turned over to the Philippine National Police Custodial Center.

Delos Reyes had reasoned out that sending him to the Caloocan City jail would be “tantamount to signing his death warrant” since he had been behind the arrest of several inmates.

But the court said that while it was concerned over his safety, his petition was “without basis.” Delos Reyes is currently detained at Valenzuela City Jail. —With a report from Dexter Cabalza

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TAGS: Gian Habal, Rocky delos Reyes, slain boy
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