CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — Authorities on Wednesday are still investigating the death of a soldier as they are still probing deeper if it was suicide, accidental firing or was there foul play involved.
According to a police report, Technical Sergeant Rogelio Asuncion, 43, married, was found lifeless inside his room at Camp Edilberto Evangelista, the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID) headquarters, in Barangay Patag, at 5:20 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 7.
Asuncion was the finance officer of the 58th Infantry Battalion, a unit of the 4ID based at Claveria, Misamis Oriental, taking charge of the financial matters, said Captain Leoden Bajado, the battalion’s civil-military officer, in a separate interview.
The same report alleged Asuncion committed suicide, but city police spokesperson Major Evan Viñas said investigators are still determining the cause of Asuncion’s death. He said Asuncion was hit in the left side of his chest and that the bullet pierced through his heart.
“We are looking at all angles,” Viñas said.
He said there were speculations that he was cleaning his .45 caliber pistol and that he accidentally shot himself in the process. Only a paraffin test can determine if Asuncion got hold of his gun or somebody else pulled the trigger that resulted to his death, he added.
“If there were no traces of gunpowder burn on his hand, then we can say that there was foul play,” he added.
Bajado said Asuncion was in his usual self when they talked over the phone on Sunday. Prior to his death, Asuncion had been based at Camp Evangelista. “I called him (Asuncion) to follow up our subsistence allowance, and there was nothing in the tone of his voice that would tell he was feeling depressed,” he added.
To his knowledge, Bajado said Asuncion had not been involved in any illegal or suspicious activity. “Even his wife told me he had no personal problem,” he added.
Bajado said they will leave it up to the police to finish its investigation and will just wait for the result of their findings on the cause or manner of Asuncion’s death. He said Asuncion’s family living in Negros Occidental has already been notified and is expected to arrive in Cagayan de Oro anytime soon.