Army officer accused of spraying tear gas on bar’s dance floor

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MANILA, Philippines – A Philippine Army captain has been charged with alarm and scandal for allegedly spraying tear gas on the floor of a popular bar in Quezon City early Saturday.

The fumes of from the tear gas caused panic among customers of Padi’s Point at the Araneta Center in Cubao, with some being forced to leave the place without settling their bills, police said.

Army Captain Licerio Tirso Plan, 42, of Sampaloc, Manila underwent inquest proceedings for alarm and scandal at the city prosecutors’ office, which recommended, however, that a formal and more thorough preliminary investigation be conducted to determine if the case should be brought to court for  trial.

He was being held at the Criminal Investigation and Detention Unit of the Quezon City Police at Camp Karingal.

Case investigator PO2 Dennis Llapitan said Plan, who denied the charges, was arrested on the complaint of bar manager Kenneth del Rosario, 30.

The incident happened at around 3 a.m. Saturday inside the popular resto-bar.

Bar bouncer Paquito Villegas noticed that their customers were becoming restless due to irritating fumes, Llapitan said. Minutes later, customers Elma Longay and Breddie Mengullo approached the bouncer and told him that they had seen Plan spraying a small canister of tear gas on the dance floor.

Plan and his companion, Second Lieutenant Ramon Angelio, reportedly walked toward the exit when they were confronted by the bouncer about the complaint.

Villegas said he saw Plan discreetly disposing of a tear gas canister labeled “Smartguard tear gas” but the bouncer was able to recover the canister near the North Park restaurant.

Llapitan said the tear gas canister was sold to civilians in specialized stores.

Plan denied having used the tear gas canister and police investigators said they had found no reason why Plan would spray tear gas on the bar’s floor.

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