SWAT member who shot fellow cop in accidental firing faces raps

Jorge Carino, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 28 2022 12:31 PM

CAMP CRAME, QUEZON CITY - Charges have been filed against a police officer who accidentally discharged a firearm, resulting in the death of a fellow cop in Laguna province last Thursday.

“Nakapag-file na po tayo ng karampatang kaso at nakapagbigay na rin tayo ng police assistance,” Lt. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia, Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge, said in an interview Monday.

A spot report from San Pablo police said Police Corporal Fhrank Aldene Dela Cruz, 30, and fellow SWAT members were checking on their firearms at the village hall in Barangay 1-B around 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

The report said another cop approached Police Corporal George Mervin Duran, 31, and told him that their service firearms had been switched. 

Duran examined his gun, a .9 mm pistol, and removed its magazine. 

When Duran was about to check on the gun’s chamber to see if there was still a bullet inside, the report said the firearm went off and hit Dela Cruz in the chest. Duran, fellow policemen, and village watchmen rushed Dela Cruz to the Community General Hospital of San Pablo, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Duran was placed under police custody.

Sermonia reiterated his directive to all police officers to keep safety in mind when handling firearms. 

“Continuous pa rin yung training na gagawin natin and we have to keep reminding them especially with the incident that happened like that. So yun, mga lessons learned na dapat malaman nila palagi," he said.