Boy shot by cop laid to rest

By Joseph Almer Pedrajas

The six-year-old boy, allegedly killed by a police officer, was laid to rest Tuesday morning at Tala Cemetery in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City.

Gian Habal, a six-year-old boy who was allegedly killed by a police officer, is laid to rest at Tala Cemetery in Bagong Silang, Caloocan on Tuesday morning. (JOSEPH ALMER PEDRAJAS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Gian Habal, a six-year-old boy who was allegedly killed by a police officer, is laid to rest at Tala Cemetery in Bagong Silang, Caloocan on Tuesday morning. (JOSEPH ALMER PEDRAJAS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Family, friends and neighbors—most of whom wearing white—were crying for justice as they brought Gian Habal to his final resting place.

Habal’s tomb was placed atop his father’s, who died two years ago due to complications from gallbladder stones.

Elsa Montañez, who was still wounded and could not walk, only took a last look at her grandson when his casket was placed and opened on a flat ground after it arrived at the cemetery.

She was not able to climb up the several stacked tombs to get to his grandson’s burial place.

Asked about her message to the police officer who allegedly killed her grandson, she said: “Makakamit din namin ang hustisya. ‘Di (ka) nag-iisip. Nadadamay mga matitino.”

[We will still get justice. You are not thinking. You are dragging the innocent ones]

“[You] should also die. I have no more to say. If you are innocent, why did you try to escape and not help my grandson?” she asked.

Montañez said that Habal was very close to her.

“Kaya pala tatlong araw sunod sunod na humahalik s’ya sa akin pagdating ng bahay. ‘Yun na pala ‘yung huli nya,” she said.

[For three consecutive days, every time I went home, he would always kiss me. That’s perhaps a sign that it would be his last days]

Habal was playing outside their home in Camarin, Caloocan City when he was killed by a bullet which allegedly came from P/Cpl. Rocky Delos Reyes on Sunday, April 28.

Delos Reyes was reportedly chasing a wanted drug personality identified as Joevanie Mosquito when he opened fire. One bullet hit Habal in the forehead, with the slug exiting the back of his head.

Delos Reyes claimed he engaged the drug suspect in a shootout, but witnesses said, they only heard one gunshot.

Police Major General Guillermo Eleazar, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO)chief, also did not buy Delos Reyes’ story.

“Sa sobrang bilis ng pangyayari, sa inis mo, binaril mo [yung bata],” he told the suspect. “Wala namang nakita doon na ibang indication na nagputukan eh.”

[You shot (the boy) because you were pissed that everything was abrupt. But there was not even an indication that there was a firefight]

Delos Reyes also shot Montañez’s left foot when she tried to stop him from escaping.

Delos Reyes has been charged with murder and attempted murder and for the violation of the omnibus election gun ban before the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court (RTC), two days after the incident.

Eleazar assured that Delos Reyes will be dismissed from his post and will “rot in jail.”

“The other serious victim is actually the reputation of the police institution itself. Their credibility has been seriously damaged…and it may take yet another decade to rebuild it,” Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said.

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