Cop who fired gun that killed bystander in buy-bust relieved, probed

PHOTO CAPTION: Makeshift streamers seeking justice for Karl Daniel Volante adorn the entrance of Brgy. North Baluarte in Molo.(iNEWS/Photo courtesy of Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo FB page)

ILOILO CITY–The policeman earlier identified to have fired the gun during a drug buy-bust operation in North Baluarte in Molo district last June 29 that led to the accidental death of a bystander has been relieved of his police duties.

According to P/Lt. Col. Joem Malong, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office-6, P/Corporal Rodante Lopez was effectively relieved starting yesterday, June 5, while the investigation into last week’s incident is being conducted by the Regional Internal Affairs Service (RIAS)-6.

In the meantime, Lopez has been reassigned to the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Office (RPHAO) until the proper disposition of his case.

Malong said it is also possible that additional sanctions will be levied on the erring cop but that will depend on the findings or recommendations following the investigation being conducted by RIAS-6.

Meanwhile, RIAS-6 has already requested a copy of the After Operations Report from the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO).

PNP chief P/Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar earlier ordered an investigation into the incident, which was conducted by a composite team from the ICPO Police Station 1 and the City Drug Enforcement Unit (CDEU).

“I understand that there is already a motu proprio investigation on this, but with this allegation, I have already tasked the Internal Affairs Service to look into this new information so we can be enlightened,” Eleazar said in a statement released by the PNP late last week.

To recall, the said drug buy-bust operation resulted in the death of 29-year old Karl Daniel Bolante, who bystanders aver was not involved in the drug transaction nor in the drug trade.

After the grisly shooting, several residents of Brgy. North Baluarte hung makeshift streamers condemning Bolante’s slay with the words “Justice for Karl Daniel Bolante”, “Seeking justice for Karl Daniel Bolante who was accidentally killed in a buy-bust operation (in) which he is (sic) not involved”, and “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. (N. Glenn Aragon/iNEWS)

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