AN ALLEGEDLY drunk soldier fired his assault rifle at a traffic enforcer Friday noon, October 27, following a traffic altercation at a busy intersection along Burgos-JR Borja streets.
Police identified the soldier as Private Guilmor Lofranco Jr., resident of Camp Evangelista, Patag, Cagayan de Oro City, and a member of the Army’s 51st Infantry Battalion based in Pagadian City.
The traffic enforcer from the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA), identified as Mark Sherwin Relevo, was wounded in his right leg by cement and bullet fragments.
Police investigators said Relevo reprimanded Lofranco after the soldier tried to squeeze past the intersection despite being out of turn.
Senior Inspector Glenn Abalde, Police Station 1 chief, said Lofranco was on board a Toyota Fortuner at the time of the incident.
"Gibadlong sa RTA ang sundalo nga dili sa mosulpot kay aron dili ma-block ang intersection. Molahos man gyud siya mao gitapik sa enforcer ang sakyanan mao nasuko ang suspek ug gipusil niya ang enforcer," Abalde said.
The soldier was arrested while the wounded enforcer was given first aid treatment by the rescue team from the City Hall.
Abalde said the suspect, who allegedly showed signs of being intoxicated, said he got upset when he was prevented from crossing the intersection, saying he was rushing to an "emergency."
"Ingon niya gadali siya kay emergency unya naulit siya ngano daw ingon adto nahitabo nga dili siya palutson kay paingon daw siya sa Patag kay gisugo daw siya," Abalde said.
"Medyo nakainom siya kay mahibal-an man kay manimaho during sa pag-interview sa iya," Abalde added.
Lawyer Edgardo Uy, chief of the Task Force Hapsay Dalan, said the RTA will file charges against Lofranco.
The suspect, who is now detained at the Maharlika detention facility, may likely face direct assault, frustrated homicide, and alarm and scandal charges.
"We will file charge sa soldier. Traffic enforcers should not be bullied because they are merely implementing traffic laws. I don't see any sane justification why the soldier should shoot the traffic enforcer,"Uy said.
Meanwhile, Captain Joe Patrick Martinez, spokesperson of the Army's 4th Infantry Division (4ID), said they would wait for the investigation conducted by the police.
Martinez said they have informed the mother unit of the soldier about the incident.
He said Lofranco had been deployed in Marawi City during the 5-month battle against ISIS-inspired extremists.
"This is an isolated case and we assure the public that if found guilty of any violations we will not tolerate the wrong doings of our soldiers," Martinez said.