THE man who shot dead a casino gaming assistant during a traffic altercation is a reservist, the Philippine Army said Wednesday.
Col. Benjamin Hao, Army spokesman, said Vhon Tanto, who killed Mark Vincent Garalde, is a member of the Caloocan City-based 1301st Community Defense Center of National Capital Region Regional Community Defense Group of the Army Reserve Command.
He said the Army leadership has directed the Army Reserve Command to investigate Tanto, who remains at large.
Hao said the command is exhausting all means to locate Tanto.
“We strongly condemn the incident. Rest assured that the Philippine Army will cooperate with the PNP (Philippine National Police) and other investigating bodies for the immediate resolution of the case so that justice be served,” he added.
Tanto and Geralde came into blows after the former blocked the latter’s bike and confronted him at P. Casal Street in Quiapo, Manila. Geraldo was shot repeatedly when he was about to mount his bicycle. He died from five gunshot wounds in the head and body.
The entire incident was caught on closed circuit television.
Tanto also critically wounded Rocel Bondoc, 18. The teenager remains at the intensive care unit of Mary Chiles Hospital.
Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada on Wednesday assured the family of Geralde that justice will be served.
“I have directed the MPD (Manila Police District) to see to it that the culprit is captured and brought to court to face charges. To the family of Mr. Geralde, our condolences. I assure you that justice will be given,” the mayor said.
Estrada said all the necessary assistance will be given to Bondoc, who was hit in the spine. The mayor said it was him who recommended Bondoc to the Universidad de Manila.
“Rocel is one of our city scholars, a bright student and has a very bright future ahead. It pains me to see her in the hospital, wounded,” he said.
Bondoc is an orphan and lives with her grandmother in Quiapo, near the scene of the shooting.