A VIDEO showing what appears to be two uniformed policemen dragging two men, who later on turned out to be soldiers, off a bus and beating up one of them is making the rounds in social media.
The video taken from a dash cam of the bus identify the two cops as Police Officer 2 (PO2) Mark Torregosa and PO1 Laurence Macalos of the Manolo Fortich Police Station, while the two passengers whom the policemen said were "unruly" were Private First Class (PFC) Brian Anco and PFC Armand Gentiles.
Captain Joe Patrick Martinez, spokesperson of the Army's 4th Infantry Division (4ID), said the two soldiers are members of the 41st division reconnaissance company under the 403rd Brigade in Bukidnon.
Police said Anco and Gentiles were drunk when they blocked the highway along Cawayaon, Barangay San Miguel, Manolo Fortich and boarded the bus.
PO3 Rodel Licera, Manolo Fortich police investigator, said the soldiers were disturbing other passengers, prompting the bus driver to report to authorities and call for police assistance.
"Nakasay sila kay ilang giatangan ang bus unya pagsakay nila nanghulga sila sa driver nga paatangan kuno ang bus unya nangahadlok ang mga pasahero kay basin unsang grupoha ang duha maong ni-report ang driver," Licera said.
Licera said one of the policemen easily dragged Gentiles out of the bus while Anco, who questioned the authority of the arresting police officers, continued resisting.
Licera said it was a civilian who punched Anco in the face.
Photos of a bloodied Anco has also gone viral on social media.
Investigator said the commotion continues outside the bus when Anco bit the left arm of Torregosa.
"Pagsaka sa police dili sila manganaog gibira gyud sa police ang isa unya ang ikaduha ga resist gyud ug unruly kaayo. Galisod ang police og pusas unya kato dayong civilian misaka ug gisumbag ang sundalo," Licera said.
"Dili gani sila gapaila nga sundalo sila after an hour na sa police station," Licera added.
Licera said they could not control other civilians and bystanders who helped neutralized the suspects.
"Lisod sila ma-control unya daghan na dayon niapil nga mga civilians kay gitabang para ma-pin down ug aron mapusasan sila unya wala man lagi kabalo tanan nga mga sundalo sila," Licera said.
Licera said the involved policemen and Army soldiers have both executed an affidavit of desistance and settled before the prosecutor's office.
"Nakabalik na sa ilang units ang duha ka sundalo kay nag-settle man sila nga dili na magkinasuhay," Licera said.
Martinez said the two soldiers were will be summoned to Camp Evangelista in Barangay Patag, Cagayan de Oro City, and will be made to explain and give their statements.
Martinez added the soldiers may also face sanctions should they be found under the influence of alcohol while performing their duties.
"Kung ma-establish na lasing talaga may sanction yan kasi bawal sa sundalo ang liquor when on duty. Aalamin natin kung on vacation ba sila or papunta sa operation. Kasi itong paglalasing at nakita ng publiko nakakasira sa institusyon at serbisyo," Martinez said.
But Martinez said they also want to know how the police responded when the supposed civilian attacked the soldier.
"According to the PNP, civilian daw ang nanuntok sa sundalo, pero be that as it may, the mere fact na nangyari ito sa harap ng arresting officer dapat di nila hinayaang mangyari at dapat may ginawa sila doon sa civilian," Martinez said.
"Gusto natin malaman ang kasagutan bakit sa harap ng police hinayaan na mangyari ang panununtok. At ano ang disposition ng civilian ito ba ay hinuli din nila," Martinez added.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 23, 2017.