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Female Graduating Student, Dead after being killed by her Police Friend

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A rookie police officer who used a high-powered service firearm to kill a female college student and wound two others in a boarding house in Koronadal City early Thursday has been pursued by police.

Police teams have been dispatched across the region to locate and arrest suspect Patrolman Roland Roquero Lopez of the South Cotabato Police Mobile Force Company, according to Lt. Col. Maria Joyce Birrey, a spokesperson for the Police Regional Office in Soccsksargen (PRO-12) (PMFC).

Brig. Gen. Alexander Tagum, the PRO-12 chief, has offered a reward of PHP100,000 for any information leading to Lopez’s capture “as soon as possible,” she said.

According to police, Lopez, 29, opened fire on the victims around 2:50 a.m. Using an M16 Armalite rifle, they broke through the window of a rented room at the Oca boarding house on Gatuslao Street, Barangay Zone 3 in Koronadal City.

Charmaine Rose Canlas, a 21-year-old Notre Dame of Marbel University graduate, died on the spot as a result of the shooting.

Joana Saptula and Debie John Franco, both 21 years old, were injured and are being treated at the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital in Koronadal City.

According to witnesses, the victims were already inside the room and preparing to sleep when the incident occurred.

Koronadal City Police Chief Lt. Col. Joedy Lito Guisinga confirmed that the three initially arrived at the city police station after 11 p.m. Lopez allegedly harassed her and she went to the police station on Wednesday to file a report.

He claimed it was the result of an argument between the suspect and his reported girlfriend Saptula, Canlas’ roommate.

According to the suspect, he was envious of Franco, Canlas’ boyfriend, who was always present at the boarding house.

Lopez, who was reportedly drunk at the time, later returned to the area, went to the room on the second floor of the boarding house, and fired at the victims with a Philippine National Police-issued firearm, according to Guisinga.

“That’s the initial information that we received. We’re still validating this and we will get a clearer picture once the two other victims (Saptula and Franco) become stable,” he told reporters.

According to the police official, they immediately contacted the suspect’s superiors at the South Cotabato PMFC to assist in locating him and facilitating his peaceful surrender.

Lopez, who is from Barangay Topland in Koronadal City, is said to have fled in an unidentified sedan-type vehicle, according to him.

According to Birrey, the PRO-12 headquarters has issued a warning to all police units in the region and neighboring areas about the suspect’s possible presence.They also sought assistance from Army units stationed at various checkpoints along major highways in the area, she said.

“We’re doing everything to arrest the suspect. Our regional director has reiterated that we don’t tolerate or condone this kind of act,” she said in a radio interview.

She urged residents to contact the nearest police station right away if they saw the suspect or have any information about his whereabouts.

REFERENCES: 
Cop kills student, hurts 2 in Koronadal City shooting | Philippine News Agency

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