Homicide rap for cop who ‘jokingly’ drew gun, actually killed pal
MANILA, Philippines — The chief of the Philippine National Police on Sunday promised accountability over the shooting death of a delivery rider in Tondo, Manila allegedly killed because a police officer was playing around with his service firearm.
Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar also stressed that there should be high standards for gun safety within the police organization.
Eleazar ordered an investigation into a complaint lodged by the relatives of 31-year-old Jayson Capistrano, a delivery rider, who died after he was hit by a bullet fired by Police Cpl. Oliver Ferrer on Manila Police District Station 1.
Ferrer went to Barangay 183, Zone 16 to visit chairman Joseph Lipasana in Gagalangin. "While they were waiting outside the barangay hall, Ferrer allegedly toyed with his firearm in front of victim Jason Capistrano. It went off and hit Capistrano," Eleazar's statement read.
The initial spot report by the MPD also said that "Ferrer jokingly drew his firearm as stated by the witness…and allegedly it accidentally went off hitting the victim."
Among the cardinal rules of gun safety, according to groups like the National Rifle Association of America, is to always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
"I have already asked the Director, MPD about this case and the initial investigation revealed that the policeman and the victim are friends and it was a case of irresponsible gun ownership," Eleazar said.
"The policeman was already disarmed, detained, and a case of homicide was already referred to the Prosecutor's Office aside from the administrative charges that would be filed against him."
Capistrano was rushed to the Chinese General Hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
Police Brig. Gen. Leo Francisco, chief of the Manila Police District, said Ferrer surrendered and he was already disarmed.
Eleazar expressed sympathy to the family of the victim and he assured them that the incident would be thoroughly probed.
“I understand the pain and anger that Jason's family feels and I personally apologize, and sympathize with them. I guarantee that the police involved will be held accountable,” said Eleazar.
Eleazar said he ordered the regular conduct of gun safety and marksmanship training for all PNP uniformed personnel, especially those assigned on the ground, adding that "the standard on gun safety and shooting skills must be high for police personnel."
“I have already issued a directive for the regular conduct of gun safety and marksmanship training purposely to avoid cases like this. May this be a lesson to gun owners, especially to the police, that they are not toys and should never brag about having a gun,” said Eleazar.
"As policemen, owning and carrying a gun is part of the trust given by our countrymen to use it for protection and not to persecute them," he added.
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