Soldier killed in fight with Army sergeant
Ghio Ong, Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - November 21, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A soldier was shot dead after he got into a fight with an Army sergeant in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City before dawn yesterday.

Private First Class Gerald Niko del Pilar died at the scene from a gunshot to the neck.

T/Sgt. Gilbert Gella, 33, a member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Light Reaction Regiment, turned himself in to the police after the incident.

Initial investigation showed that Del Pilar and Gella figured in an altercation along Bayani Road in Barangay Western Bicutan at around 2 a.m.

Gella was about to drive away with his companions when Del Pilar reportedly ran toward the suspect’s car and attacked him with a knife.

This prompted the suspect to pull out his gun and fire at Del Pilar.

Gella is being treated at the Army Hospital.

According to a police report, Gella was accompanied by an Army “striker” Jepoy Arcilla and two others.

Taguig police chief Alexander Santos said the victim and the suspect were both drunk when they figured in a fight.

Parallel probe

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said a parallel investigation into the shooting incident is underway.

“We will cooperate with the police investigation in order to attain justice for the victim,” Zagala said.  

“But we will conduct our own investigation. We urge soldiers to adhere to the principles of military discipline and proper decorum whether they are in uniform or not, whether inside or outside military jurisdiction,” he added.

Asked why the Southern Police District initially released different names of suspects, Zagala said those in the custody of the SPD could be Gella’s companions.

The Army will extend assistance to the family of Del Pilar, Zagala said.

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