ILIGAN CITY, Philippines – Private First Class Rudillo Bartolome was fresh from the fighting in Marawi City and was on his way home when he was killed on the spot by police officers in Zamboanga del Sur on Wednesday, Aug. 23.
Bartolome was shot dead by police officers from Aurora Municipal Police Station in Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur around 3:45 p.m.
He was a member of the 53rd Infantry Battalion.
Initial investigation of the police said that PO2 Ronald Zeros and PO1 Michael Bullanday responded to the report of an armed man in the area.
The two police officers saw Bartolome drew a caliber .45 pistol and moved towards them which “prompted the police officers to shoot and neutralize” him.
He sustained eleven gunshot wounds.
“Hindi pa nakababa ng motor ang dalawang pulis natin ay binunutan na sila ng baril tapos papunta sa kanila. Nakatutok na kasi sa kanila so there was an intention to kill, so kailangan mo nang i-save ang sarili mo (The police officers were still on board the motorcycle when they saw him armed with a gun moving towards them. The gun was pointed at them so there was an intention to kill and the police needed to protect their lives),” said Police Senior Inspector Roger Bartiana, officer-in-charge of Aurora Municipal Police Station.
In a statement on Thursday, the Western Mindanao Command said a joint investigation is underway to probe the killing of Bartolome.
The military said Bartolome was permitted “to go on overnight pass” to visit his family in Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur.
“He was deployed in Marawi last May after his unit was sent there to help address the crisis,” the military said.
The military said they will extend maximum assistance to Bartolome’s family.
Bartolome’s wife, Metcheall, said she cannot accept her husband’s fate. She said it was supposed to be her husband’s first vacation since crisis in Marawi broke out three months ago.
“Nakatawag pa siya nako katong naa na siya sa Lala (Lanao del Norte) aron magpahibalo nga mouli siya. Nakurat gani ko kay nakapananghid diay siya nga mo-uli (He was still able to call me when he was in Lala to tell me he’s coming home. I was shocked that he was able to ask permission to visit us),” the soldier’s wife said.
Bartolome has two kids aged four and a one.(davaotoday.com)