Shooting incident mars Christmas celebration in Taguig
MANILA, Philippines — A shooting incident marred a Christmas celebration in Taguig City, as three Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) personnel were accused of firing at six individuals.
Reports from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Sunday said that the incident happened when three Philippine Army (PA) commissioned officers were having a drinking spree at Barangay Pinagsama, Taguig, at 3 a.m. on Saturday, December 25.
Reports said the Army men were allegedly disturbed when the victims threw stones at them while they were drinking. The soldiers were said to have been enraged and fired at the victims using an M16 rifle.
The three suspects were identified as Capt. Nheiljay Maguddayao Garcia, 31; 2nd Lt. Felomino Maguddayao Garcia, 30; and 1st Lt. Minalyn Awat Ladyong, 29.
Nheiljay was said to be assigned at the PA Command and Control Training and Doctrine Command, in Capaz, Tarlac; Felomino at the Attached and Assigned HQ and HQ Support Group, in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig; and Ladyong at the Army Signal Regiment in Fort Bonifacio also.
The six victims on the other hand were identified as:
- Edsel Hecita Polo, 28
- JD Umbaro Navales, 24
- John Carl Marca Sabino, 18
- 3 male minors aged 17, 16 and 14
The victims were brought to the Ospital ng Makati and the Taguig-Pateros District Hospital for treatment. The arrested officers meanwhile were brought to the Taguig City Police Station for proper disposition and documentation.
The NCRPO said that they have coordinated the case with the headquarters of the Philippine Army already, as administrative cases will automatically be filed against the AFP personnel.
NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. meanwhile appealed to the members of the uniformed services and civilians who are allowed to bear arms, to be calm in these situations.
Danao said that there are other ways to resolve the incident, without resorting to firing guns.
“Muli, tayo ay nakikiusap sa publiko ganun din sa iba pa nating kasama na nasa uniformed service at mga iba pang civililian holders ng baril. Maging kalmado tayo at huwag ilagay sa init ang ulo ang epekto ng ulak upang makapanagit tayo. Maraming pamamaraan na hindi gagamitan ng baril o diretsong pagpapaputok ang agarang sagot sa isang pangyayari maliban kung ito ay may banta sa ating buhay,” Danao said.
(We appeal to the public as well as to those in the uniformed service and other gun owners. Be calm and never allow the effects of alcohol influence our decision to hurt others. There are diplomatic ways to resolve issues without resorting to firing a gun, except if our lives are under threat.)
“There are a lot of peaceful means to prevent and repel the aggression without resorting to firing your guns. Hindi dahil may baril ka ay passport ninyo na po yan to indiscriminately fire your firearms and/or to illegally discharge your firearms [it doesn’t mean if you have a gun you already have a passport to illegally discharge your firearm],” he added.
The NCRPO head also promised that the Army personnel would be treated fairly according to law.
“Magkagayunman, the incident is already being handled by our in investigators in Taguig to ferret out the truth, to establish and validate the facts of the case. Nonetheless, please be assured that this will be handled without fear or favor,” he assured.
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