The two Zamboanga del Sur police officers allegedly involved in the death of a soldier on his way home from Marawi have been placed under restrictive custody.
“‘Yung dalawa under restrictive custody ng Aurora Municipal Police Station,” Region 9 police office spokesperson Chief Inspector Helen Galvez said.
Private First Class Rodilo Bartolome was killed Wednesday afternoon at Junction Monte Alegre, Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur.
An initial police report showed that at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, a passenger dispatcher in Barangay Monte Alegre, Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur went to the community police assistance center to report an armed man who was sighted at a store at Purok Magdadaro.
Upon receipt of the report, Police Officer 2 Ronald Zeros and Police Office 1 Michael Bullanday responded, and upon arrival at the place, saw the man who they claim drew a calilber .45 firearm as he approached him, prompting them to open fire.
The man was later identified as Bartolome, 33, of Barangay Kanipay, Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur, and a member of Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion detailed in Marawi City.
Galvez said an investigating body has been sent by the Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Police Office to investigate the incident.
“‘Yung regional director may initial talks with [the] Armed Forces of the Philippines para magkaroon ng independent investigating body na ipapadala sa area,” she added.
In a press statement, Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Captain Jo-An Petinglay said a joint investigation is being conducted right now pertaining to the circumstances of Bartolome’s death.
“Prior to the incident, PFC Bartolome who was assigned with [the] 53rd Infantry Battalion was permitted to go on overnight pass by his immediate superior purposely to visit his family in Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur,” she said.
She said Bartolome was deployed in Marawi last May after his unit was sent there to help address the crisis.
“While we are all in mourning for the death of one of our Marawi heroes, we call for prayers and sobriety, as we seek for immediate resolution to this case. We would like to solicit your understanding if we cannot divulge more information to you right now since this is a sensitive matter and we wish to give due consideration to the family’s privacy,” she said.
“The entire Western Mindanao Command grieves with the family of PFC Bartolome and will extend maximum assistance to his widow and children,” she added.