Police, military investigate killing of soldier by cops
PAGADIAN CITY – Police and military were investigating the recent killing of an army soldier by policemen in Zamboanga del Sur’s Aurora town.
The slain soldier Private First Class Bartolome Rodilo was shot last week near a convenience store in Monte Alegre village after he allegedly pulled a gun while two policemen were trying to verify his identity. The soldier was on a break from fighting local ISIS militants in Marawi City at the time of the killing.
Police said an identification card recovered from the soldier’s bag showed he was a member of the 1st Infantry Division assigned with the 53rd Infantry Battalion. It said that a civilian, Oscar Asuelo, had reported to the police station that an unidentified man, armed with a gun, was spotted at the store owned by Dencia Magdadaro. Police dispatched PO2 Ronald Zeros and PO1 Michael Bullanday to verify the identity of the man.
“However, upon arrival by the responding police officers in the area, the unidentified male person suddenly drew a .45-caliber pistol moving towards them that prompted the police officers to shoot him and neutralized the said person,” a police report said.
A woman who reportedly witnessed the shooting said the soldier did not pull out a gun, but was waiting for a ride home in Midsalip town also in Zamboanga del Sur. The witness claimed the policeman who shot the soldier was only wearing a white t-shirt and a pair of jersey pants. She said Rodilo was shot several times while trying to get his identification card in the bag.
The woman’s account of the incident cannot be independently confirmed, but police were investigating the case. The spokesman of the 1st Infantry Division, Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera declined to give any statement on the killing of the soldier. His deputy, Maj. Richard Enciso, and Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay, a spokeswoman for the military forces in Marawi City did not answer phone calls from journalists.