CHARGES of murder and frustrated murder were filed against a Marikina policeman who shot dead a 23-year-old construction worker whom he accused of being involved in illegal drugs activities.
The family of Kim Lester Ramos, wearing which T-shirts printed with a photo of Kim, flocked to the Marikina Hall of Justice Monday, December 9, to file the charges against intelligence officer Police Corporal Herjonner Soller.
The victim's father, Norman, charged Soller with murder and planting of evidence.
Another complainant, whom legal counsel Angsheline Bacudio refused to identify, filed charges of frustrated murder against the policeman.
Soller had also filed charges of direct assault and attempted homicide against Lauro Lagarde, a childhood friend of Kim who survived the shooting.
Lagarde narrated that he, Kim and another friend Johnny agreed to have dinner after playing basketball on October 5, 2019.
While he and Kim were sitting on the sidewalk waiting for Johnny, a man on a motorcycle passed by and told them, “tigil-tigilan nyo na ang pag-aadik ninyo (stop using illegal drugs)". The man was Soller.
Lagarde said they let it pass and he and Kim left on board their motorcycle. At the intersection of Mount Vernon Street and Gil Fernando Avenue, Lagarde said they chanced upon the cop.
“Bago kami dumating sa intersection na pinangyarihan nakita namin sya nakilala ko sya tapos tinuro ko sya kay Kim sabi ni Kim oo sya nga yon tapos kinompronta ko ‘yung lalaking sumita samin tapos tinanong ko sya ‘Sir bakit niyo kami sinabihan ng mga adik na tigilan na namin ang pagaadik’,” said Lagarde.
(When I saw the man at the intersection, I confronted him and asked, "Sir, why did you tell us to stop using illegal drugs?)
“Hindi pa ako tapos magsalita may binunot na sya hindi ko alam saan galing at kung ano yun nagulat ako tapos tinapik ko ang kamay nya kasi tinutok niya sakin tapos pagtapik ko ng kamay niya pumutok sa bandang tagiliran ko tapos namanhid ang buong katawan ko tapos natumba ako papunta sa gutter tapos nung pahiga na ako si Kim nakita ko tulala tapos bago ko bumagsak sinabihan ko si Kim na humingi ng tulong tapos tumakbo si Kim tapos hinabol sya nung pulis tapos binaril nya rin habang tumatakbo,” he added.
(I was not done talking yet when he pulled something and pointed it at me. I brushed his hand aside and a shot rang out. My entire body went numb and I fell towards the gutter. I saw that Kim was shocked and I told him to get help. Kim ran away to seek help but the policeman chased and shot him.)
A bullet from the policeman's gun pierced the back of Kim's head and exited through his eye.
Lagarde said the man checked on Kim and then returned to where he was sprawled on the gutter.
“Sa takot ko nagpataypatayan ako kasi baka barilin pa nya ako,” he said.
(I played dead out of fear that he would shoot me again.)
Only when several people approached the scene that Lagarde moved and reached for his phone.
The policeman, however, grabbed his phone and said he did not have the right to ask for help because he and Kim were criminals.
Lagarde denied using illegal drugs.
“Hindi pa nga po ako nakakakita ng droga na yan eh (I haven't even seen that illegal substance),” said Lagarde.
Norman arrived at the scene minutes after the incident and found his son lying lifeless on the street.
He said the police stopped him from approaching his son.
Norman belied the police’s claim that his son had a gun and tried to hold up the police.
“Ang tagal tagal namin doon wala naman baril sa tabi ng katawan nung anak ko tapos mayamaya meron na tapos ‘yun na sinasabi na nung pulis na holdaper daw ‘yung dalawa,” he said.
(We were at the scene for a long time and there was no gun beside my son's body. But suddenly there was one and the police claimed that my son and his friends were holduppers.)
“Hindi totoo yon. Napakabait ng anak ko. Kilala ko silang dalawa mula bata palang sila magkasama na sila. Sila tumutulong sa pamilya namin. Hindi masama yang dalawa na yan. Hindi nila kayang gawin ‘yung binibintang sakanila,” he added.
(It's not true. My son was a good boy. I also know his friend because they have been friends since childhood. They have been helping our family. They couldn't have done what the police accused them of doing.)
In a police report, Soller claimed he was undertaking surveillance operations at around 6:30 p.m. of October 5 when he chanced upon four men loitering in a dark corner of the street.
He said he approached the four men, introduced himself as a cop and asked them what they’re doing.
Soller claimed one of the men responded to him in an impolite manner which prompted him to just leave the area.
He said two of them, supposedly Kim and Lagarde, followed him on board a motorcycle.
Soller said they tried to snatch his bag which prompted him to fight back and shoot the two friends.
With the complaint lodged against Soller, Norman said they are hoping to win the case and attain justice for Kim.
Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac vowed an impartial investigation into cases similar to the killing of Kim.
“Ang PNP naman ay tinitiyak na ang imbestigasyon ay patas upang bigyan ng hustisya ang biktima lahat ng may sala ay kailangan mapanagot sa batas yan ang tinitiyak ng PNP,” he said. (SunStar Philippines)