By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – Police now have the identities of the three persons who were allegedly involved in a commotion that wounded a soldier and two others in Barangay Handumanan here last Thursday.
The victims were identified as Corporal Jasper Gancia, 34, of Barangay Bata, his girlfriend Merryll Tuvilla, 24, and Tuvilla’s father Teodoro, 71, both residents of Barangay Handumanan.
Captain Lelanie Lagoting, head of Police Station 10, said the soldier attended the birthday party of Teodoro while he was on vacation here.
While they were having a celebration, Teodoro went out of their house to buy cigarettes when he got into a heated argument with three bystanders in the area.
Lagoting said that the 71-year-old man did not like how the bystanders answered him when he asked them where he could buy cigarettes.
The soldier responded to pacify them until they figured in a commotion.
Lagoting said the bystanders and the soldier grappled with the latter’s service firearm which resulted in a series of gunshots.
Lagoting said that Gancia suffered two gunshot wounds while his girlfriend was also wounded.
However, police could not yet ascertain if Tuvilla and her father were wounded by a sharp object or from a gunshot, as the window of their house was damaged during the commotion.
Gancia is now stable at a private hospital here, while Tuvilla and her father were already discharged from the hospital, Lagoting said.
Police recovered from the scene 11 fired cartridges and a live ammunition of an unknown firearm.
Lagoting said the soldier’s uncle later turned over his issued .45 M911 firearm with a magazine loaded with 10 live ammunition of .45 caliber firearm.
The recoveries were subjected to ballistic examination, including the soldier’s service firearm to determine if the fired bullets came from his firearm or if another weapon was used in the incident, considering that three suspects were tagged in the incident.
He said that a paraffin test will be conducted to determine if Gancia was able to shoot.
Gancia was assigned to Marawi City, Lanao del Sur and went home here for a vacation on December 28, 2023, according to Lagoting.
Lagoting refused to reveal the identities of the suspects as of this writing, pending the investigation.