CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – A drinking session led to a death of a Philippine Air Force (PAF) personnel who was shot by his fellow serviceman in Barangay Lumbia here late Friday night, authorities said Saturday.
Police report identified the victim as Staff Sgt. Renante Blanco, 39, married, and a resident of Barangay Pulung Maragul in Angeles City, Pampanga.
Airman 2nd Class Reymart Jayme Noquera, 26, from Quezon City, was tagged by law enforcers as the suspect in the killing of Blanco.
Investigators said Blanco and Noquera were having a drink when the shooting started.
It was not yet determined if the two were with a group of Air Force servicemen when the incident happened inside the PAF’s Tactical Operations Group-10 (TOG-10) headquarters at the city’s old airport facility in Barangay Lumbia, at about 10:45 pm on Friday.
Both Blanco and Noquera were assigned at TOG-10.
Airman 2nd Class Alijani Sapayani, told police investigators he heard Blanco and Noquera were having a heated argument prior to the shooting.
A series of gun fires were heard coming from the back of the TOC-10 headquarters a few minutes after.
Police said the suspect used his issued firearm, an M-16 Elisco assault rifle, in shooting Blanco.
The victim, the police report said, succumbed to a lone gunshot wound in the back of his head.
Blanco was rushed to the Phil. Army’s 4th Infantry Division hospital in Barangay Patag but was declared dead by the attending physician at around 12:15 a.m. Saturday.
Law enforcers recovered 16 pieces of spent 5.56 empty shells from the crime scene.
The suspect was brought to the 4ID detention facility for temporary detention, said Capt. Joe Patrick Martinez, the division spokesperson.
Martinez said Noquera will be temporarily under their custody while the PAF is looking for a facility to detain their personnel since the Army has no jurisdiction of Air Force troopers.
The suspect’s firearm was taken and turned over to the Lumbia police station for safekeeping.
As of this writing, the PAF has yet to issue an official statement regarding the incident.(davaotoday.com)