Ex-soldier not yet off the hook over child’s death-A A +A
Friday, January 4, 2013
FORMER military man Juan Agos is not yet off the hook even if ballistic tests showed the bullet that killed seven-year-old Stephanie Nicole Ella on New Year’s Eve was not fired from his gun.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Agos may not be charged with murder but he is still liable for illegal discharge of firearm.
“He admitted firing his gun during that time. While it is not the same gun that fired the bullet that led to the demise of Stephanie, that is still a crime in and of itself,” she said.
Agos, who is reportedly a former intelligence officer in the Presidential Security Group, voluntarily surrendered to police following the death of Ella.
He admitted firing his 1911 pistol during the New Year’s Eve celebration but the ballistic signature from his gun did not match with the ballistic signature of the bullet that killed Ella.
Valte said the investigation has been “systematic.”
“So far, the PNP is moving as they should…at least they are crossing off possible leads that will go cold. Given the high interest that the public has in this incident, the public is being apprised of the situation,” she said.
She reiterated government’s appeal for witnesses to come out and identify those who have fired their guns indiscriminately during the New Year revelry.
“They (police) are also asking for the cooperation of the witnesses and the neighbors (of Stephanie Nicole) because just like one commentator said, you cannot fire gun secretly. Someone will definitely be a witness to it,” she said.
In light of Ella’s death, some quarters have been proposing for a total gun ban during holidays.
Valte said they have to discuss the matter first with President Benigno Aquino III.
She dismissed, however, sentiments that the President will not favor the total gun ban since he is a gun enthusiast.
“I think that is an unwarranted assumption…Just a matter of by way of an analogy. The President is a smoker. However, he pushed very hard for the sin tax (law). So that is the basis for why I am able to say that it is an unwarranted assumption,” she said. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)