Coconut vendor in viral video arrested for murder

Aika Rey
Coconut vendor in viral video arrested for murder
(UPDATED) An arrest warrant issued for Romnick Relos way back in 2008 is found

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Coconut vendor Romnick Relos was arrested on Tuesday, March 6, for murder.

Relos made headlines when he was shown in a viral video being mauled by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) enforcers last Friday, March 2.

According to authorities, a certain Junie Olete, resident of Aroroy, Masbate, was allegedly killed by Relos and his brothers Roy and Don Don on March 25, 2007.

The police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said the Relos brothers forcibly entered Olete’s house and attacked the victim in front of his wife.

The arrest warrant dated January 25, 2008 was issued by a court in Masbate.

All 3 Relos brothers are now under the custody of the CIDG and will be detained at Camp Crame.

“Alam naman niyang may kaso siya pero sabagay sa palagay niya, 2007 pa ‘yung insidente, 2008 lumabas ‘yung warrant. Akala niya nagkalimutan na siguro,” MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim said.

(He knows that he has a case but maybe he thought, the incident was in 2007, the [arrest] warrant was issued in 2008. Maybe he thought it has been forgotten.)

“Malamang nakita niya siguro lalo na sa social media ang daming sumuporta sa kanya, ang daming naawa sa kanya. Palagay ko lalong lumakas ang kanyang loob,” Lim also said.

(He probably saw that on social media, many people supported him, many people pitied him. I think he became more emboldened.)

Despite Relos’ arrest, the MMDA said his murder case will not affect the results of the investigation into the mauling incident involving the enforcers.

“We are consistent. As long as you (enforcers) are doing what is right, we will support you. But if you’re doing wrong things, we won’t let that pass,” Lim said in Filipino.

Three MMDA enforcers were placed under preventive suspension for 15 days without pay starting Monday, March 5. A total of 13 enforcers were involved in the incident. –

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at