ZAMBOANGA CITY: An Army soldier who was on a break from fighting local Islamic State (IS) militants in Marawi City was allegedly killed by a policeman in Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur.
Police report said Private First Class Bartolome Rodilo was shot on Wednesday afternoon near a convenience store in Monte Alegre village after he allegedly pulled a gun while two policemen were trying to verify his identity.
An identification card recovered from the soldier’s bag showed he is a member of the 1st Infantry Division (1ID) assigned with the 53rd Infantry Battalion.
Police said a civilian, Oscar Asuelo, had reported to the police station that an unidentified armed man was spotted in a nearby store.
Police Officer 2 Ronald Zeros and PO1 Michael Bullanday were immediately sent 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 approaching them that prompted the police officers to shoot and neutralize the said person,” the police report said.
But a woman who reportedly witnessed the shooting said the soldier did not pull out a gun, but was only waiting for a ride home to Midsalip town also in Zamboanga del Sur. She claimed the policeman who shot the soldier was only wearing a white t-shirt and a jersey shorts. She said Rodilo was shot several times while trying to pull out an identification card from his bag.
The woman’s account of the incident cannot be independently confirmed, but police were investigating the case.
Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, spokesman for the 1ID, declined to give any statement on the killing of the soldier. His deputy, Maj. Richard Enciso, and Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay, spokesman for the military forces in Marawi City, did not answer phone calls from reporters.