Freeman Region

Off-duty cop shot dead by Phil Army ”agent”

Gilbert P. Bayoran - The Freeman

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — A policeman, who responded to a shooting incident, was shot and killed Sunday allegedly by a confidential agent of the Philippine Army in Victorias City, Negros Occidental.

Senior Police Officer 2 Antonio Broce Jr., 42, a member of the Victorias City Police Station, succumbed to gunshot wounds in his back and chest. He was declared dead on arrival at the Kaayong Lawas Primary Hospital in Victorias City.

The suspect, identified as Richard Artagame, a confidential agent of the Cebu-based Philippine Army unit, tried to flee from the crime scene, but was later intercepted and arrested by responding police personnel.

Chief Inspector Eduardo Corpus, Victorias City Police officer-in-charge, said he and Broce were responding to a shooting incident, involving Artagame himself who allegedly shot tanod Edgar Saludes at the Relocation Site in Barangay 21, Victorias City.

Saludes, also a bet solicitor of a Small Town Lottery, is now being treated of his injury at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City.

Initial police investigation showed that, upon reaching the scene, where Saludes was shot, Artagame also fired his gun at Broce, hitting the latter to death.

Corpus however debunked earlier reports that there was a shootout, stressing that Broce was not able to fire his gun, because Artagame used a human shield at the time. Corpus added that Artagame was under the influence of liquor when he shot Saludes and Broce.

Police recovered from the scene seven spent shells of bullets and from Artagame a .45-caliber pistol, a military ID, and a mission order, issued by an Army unit in Cebu, as a confidential agent.

On Monday, the Police Regional Office-6 conferred the PNP Medal of Heroism on the slain Broce, in recognition of the bravery he displayed in responding to the shooting incident in Victorias City, even if he was on off-duty.

Broce’s wife, Julie Ann, received the medal from Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, regional director of the PRO-6, who personally went to Victorias City to extend his sympathy to the family and relatives of the slain hero.

Bulalacao also gave financial assistance to the family of Broce, who was also among the security escorts of Representative Alfredo “Albee” Benitez (3rd district, Negros Occidental).

Bulalacao ordered the filing of administrative charges against those who signed and issued a mission order to Artagame, that enable the latter to possess and carry firearms. He said only the chief of the Philippine National Police, through the Firearms and Explosive Office, who can authorize anybody to possess firearms.

Corpuz said he will coordinate with the Philippine Army to verify the mission order issued to Artagame, who was later found to be also an employee of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines. He said murder charges were filed  yesterday against Artagame for illegal possession of firearms. Carnapping, murder, and frustrated murder charges will also be filed against him soon.

The city government of Victorias, through Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca, also pledged to extend financial assistance to the family of Broce, Corpuz added. (FREEMAN) 


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