MAGUINDANAO, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / September 4, 2009) – Two army soldiers were killed and five others wounded after an infantryman opened fire on them Friday in the southern Philippines, officials told the Mindanao Examiner.
Officials said the shooter, Technical Sergeant Policarpio dela Cruz, was also shot and wounded by other soldiers. “He was rushed to hospital along with the other wounded soldiers,” said Colonel Jonathan Ponce, a spokesman for the Army’s 6th Infantry Division.
Those killed in the shooting were identified as Sergeant Bernard de Guzman and Private First Class Christopher Pagatpatan. While the wounded were Lieutenant Colonel Aniceto Vicente, Major Fe Ea, Second Lieutenant Grace Sumalbag, Sergeant Ronaldo Saraza and Corporal Dennis Bergante.
The attack occurred at around 4.30 p.m. in the village of Tugaig in Maguindanao’s Barira town shortly after the soldiers arrived for a meeting at an army headquarters.
“Dela Cruz suddenly fired his M16 rifle indiscriminately and hitting the soldiers,” Ponce said.
The motive of the shooting is still unknown, but the spokesman said Dela Cruz was observed to be acting abnormally before the attack. “Initial investigation disclosed that Dela Cruz is observed to be mentally imbalance. A thorough investigation is ongoing,” he said. (Mindanao Examiner)