Philippine Army (PA) soldiers deployed in the island village of Malingin in Bien Unido which has been deemed a COVID-19 hotspot have been pulled out after one of its personnel allegedly shot dead an unarmed former policeman who was a resident in the area.
First Lt. Elma Grace Remonde, Civil Military Officer(CMO) of the 47th Infantry Battalion said that the soldier, Corporal Raymund Casiple, 30, will be facing administrative charges on top of the criminal complaints to be filed by the family of the victim identified as Leopoldo Saligan, who was a former officer of the defunct Philippine Constabulary.
Casiple is under the custody of the Bien Unido Police Station.
According to Remonde, Casiple admitted that he was under the influence of alcohol while on duty during the incident on Sunday afternoon.
Casiple was conducting patrols on a bicycle when he chanced upon the victim.
Staff Sgt. Romelito Avenido of the Bien Unido Police Station said that Casiple approached Saligan who was sharing stories on his time as a member of the PC to two of his nephews. The conversation then led to the altercation.
Amid the heated argument, Casiple allegedly pulled out his .45 caliber pistol and repeatedly shot Saligan.
Saligan sustained seven gunshot wounds in his head and chest leading to his immediate death.
Remonde said that the PA will not interfere with the investigations and will see to it that justice is served.
“Dili [protektahan] ang suspect, ang among concern karon is ang pamilya. Dili ra pud namo pasagdan, pero dili namo e-tolerate ang iyang nabuhat,” Remonde said.
Soldiers of the 47th IB were deployed in Barangay Malingin in Bien Unido to help enforce health safety measures after the island emerged as a COVID-19 hotspot.
They were supposed to stay in the island until September 4 but they were immediately pulled out after the incident.
Col. Jerry Borja, commander of the PA’s Joint Task Force Cebu-Bohol-Siquijor, said that its personnel have been ordered not to consume alcohol amid the pandemic.
He said that they will be conducting a thorough investigation on the incident. (Rey Tutas)