A SOLDIER was killed while a policeman was wounded in a shootout inside a videoke house in Zamboanga City Thursday.

The Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) reported that the incident happened around 12:30 a.m. Thursday at Amore videoke house in the village of Putik, 4.6 kilometers east of the city proper.

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The ZCPO identified the slain soldier as Private First Class (PFC) Rex Pamittan, 23, a resident of Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon City, who is assigned with the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4) based in Tawi-Tawi.

Wounded was Senior Police Officer (SPO) 2 Orlando Gellicania II, who is assigned with ZCPO's Police Station 5 in Divisoria village, 6.2 kilometers east of city proper.

Investigation showed that prior to the shootout, Gellicania along with SPO1 Manny Amba responded to a police assistance call from the cashier of Amore videoke house.

The cashier, Melanie Rivero, sought police assistance as Pamittan and his companion, Marsibal Mohammad, engaged in a heated argument with two other unidentified customers.

Upon arrival at the videoke house, Gellicania and Amba managed to control the situation.

The police said the village council of Putik has passed a resolution allowing the operations of videoke house only until 10:30 p.m.

It is in line with a city ordinance stipulating that operations of videoke houses, from Sunday to Thursday, should be until 10:30 p.m. only but could be extended for an hour during Fridays and Saturdays.

With this, Pamittan was prohibited to sing but he "has allegedly insisted to sing more songs." The soldier got irked and turned his rage to the responding policemen.

The ZCPO reported that Pamittan drew his caliber .45 pistol and shot Gellicania, which prompted Amba, who was accompanying Gellicania, to draw his service firearm and returned fire, hitting Pamittan, which subsequently cause his death.

Gellicania was admitted at one of the hospitals for treatment while Pamittan was taken to a local funeral parlor. His buddy, Mohammad, meanwhile was arrested by personnel from the Police Station 5.

Recovered from the crime scene were 12 empty shells of caliber .45 pistol, three slugs of the same caliber, and two caliber .45 pistols, one of which is owned by Gellicania.

"Thorough investigation is still being conducted to substantiate further initially derived facts after four witnesses manifested themselves to cooperate with the investigation," the ZCPO said.

However, the ZCPO added that Rivero and three guest relation officers of Amore videoke house have affirmed that it was Pamittan who shot Gellicania first. (Bong Garcia)