ATOK, Benguet – A 32-year old man died while his 31-year old drinking companion was injured after their group that was having a drinking session inside a residence on Christmas Eve was fired upon by an alleged drunk police officer at Sayangan, Paoay, here, Sunday night.
Police authorities identified the fatality as a certain Abraham Pacalso Atiwag, 32, a resident of Paoay, Atok, Benguet while his injured companion was named as Jerry Buyagawen Oriani, 31, also a resident of Paoay, Atok, Benguet.
The suspect was named by elements of the Atok Municipal Police Station as PO3 Rizaldy Banatao Banna, 32, single, who is assigned to the Atok Municipal Police Station and is currently residing in Baguio City.
Initial police investigation showed the suspect was allegedly conducting routine patrol when he chanced upon the group of the victims who were having a drinking session inside a residence.
He allegedly tried to confront the victims but it resulted to a heated altercation and a rumble that forced him to fir his gun inflicting injuries to the victims.
However, concerned barangay officials and witnesses claimed that the police officer was allegedly under the influence of liquor at the time that he confronted the victims and repeatedly fired his firearm thereby inflicting injuries to them.
The victims were immediately rushed to the Atok District Hospital for medical treatment but the fatality allegedly expired several hours later while the injured individual remains confined in the said hospital.
Probers are still conducting further investigation on the real cause of the untoward incident that resulted to the loss of life of the victim.
By Dexter A. See