BANAUE, Ifugao – Two police officers died after they were shot to death by a fellow policeman due to an alleged misunderstanding that cropped up from their finger wrestling game inside the headquarters of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) 15 at Viewpoint, here, Sunday dawn.
Police Brig. Gen. Israel Ephraim Dickson, regional director of the Police Regional Office (PRO) in the Cordillera, identified the fatalities as Police Staff Sgt. Romualdo Ngina, Jr., 32, married and a native of Otucan Sur, Bauko, Mountain Province and Police Pat. Rey Wan-aten, 30, and a native of Kibungan, Benguet.
The suspect in the said incident was named as Police Cpl. Paul Congihan Badangayon, 28, married and a native of O-ong, Hingyon, Ifugao.
Initial police investigation showed that the victims and the suspect were engaged in the so-called ‘torsi,’ finger wrestling that resulted into a misunderstanding between them due to their mixed interpretations on the rules of the game which inflicted injuries on the suspect’s fingers.
The suspect allegedly badmouthed the victims before he went back to his room but he was followed by Ngina who allegedly punched him.
At this juncture, the suspect reportedly drew his firearm and fired at Ngina several times that caused him to be sprawled bloodied on the ground.
Wan-aten attempted to interfere in the altercation but he was also fired upon by the suspect that also caused him to fall bloodied on the pavement.
The shooting victims were immediately rushed by their colleagues to the Bontoc General Hospital in nearby Bontoc, Mountain Province but they were pronounced dead on arrival by attending physicians due to multiple fatal gunshot wounds on the different parts of their bodies.
The suspect was immediately disarmed by his superior and is now awaiting the filing of murder charges against him before the Ifugao provincial prosecutor’s office and stands to be dismissed from the service for his conduct unbecoming of a police officer.
By Dexter A. See