THE Manolo Fortich police in Bukidnon City has charged a civilian who supposedly “punched” a soldier inside a public bus on Tuesday, September 26, after investigators identified the suspect through a witness’ accounts.
But authorities refused to name the suspect, whom it charged with inflicting less serious physical injuries on the soldier, apart from saying that the suspect is of legal age and a motorcycle-for-hire (habal-habal) driver who frequently waits for passengers in the area.
"Naay witness nga nakamay-ong sa suspect busa na-identify siya nga habal-habal driver pero talagsa ra diri makatunga (A witness recognized the suspect that’s why the habal-habal driver was identified but he only shows up often)," Police Officer 3 (PO3) Rodel Licera, Manolo Fortich police investigator.
Police also released a cartographic sketch showing a bald-headed suspect.
Police said the suspect was the primary person seen on a viral video who punched a soldier while policemen identified as PO2 Mark Torregosa and PO1 Laurence Macalos responded to the call for assistance inside the bus.
"Gi-filan na og kaso nga less serious physical injury ang civilian (Charges of less serious physical injury was filed against the civilian)," Licera said.
Licera said they are tracking the address and whereabouts of the suspect and other civilians who meddled and mauled the soldiers outside the bus.
Licera maintained that the responding policemen were not able to prevent and arrest the civilians since their concentration was to neutralize Private First Class (PFC) Brian Anco and PFC Armand Gentiles whom they claimed were unruly and arrogant.
"Right after ato nidagan ug nangawala man tong civilians unya ang concentration sa police nga ma-control ang mga sundalo (Right after that, the civilians ran and the concentration of the police to control the soldiers was gone)," Licera said.
Licera said they welcome reports that the soldiers will press charges against members of Manolo Fortich police.
"Ila mana katungod kung tan-aw nila nga dili proper ang arrest. Sa among part pud maningkamot pud nga mahimo namo ang dapat namo nga buhaton regarding ato nga hitabo (It’s their right if they think the arrest is improper. In our part, we did our best to do what’s right in that situation)," Licera added.