Policeman detained for alleged gun threats during altercation

By Jennifer P. Rendon

A 32-year-old police officer was detained by his colleagues following a grave threats complaint late evening of February 24 in the City Proper of Iloilo City.

Staff Sergeant Archie Ian Garcia was accused by three individuals of brandishing a gun at them while they were consuming alcohol by the roadside in Barangay Gen. Hughes, City Proper, around 11 p.m. on Saturday.

Garcia, who hails from Brgy. Lawa-an, Roxas City, Capiz, is currently assigned to the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit (RPHAU) at Camp Martin Delgado in Iloilo City. He has been temporarily residing in the vicinity of the reported incident.

Per police reports, John Mark Gamuza, 22, and Edgar Valle, 23, along with a group of friends and relatives, were allegedly approached by Garcia, who arrived on a motorcycle.

The off-duty officer inquired about a child he nearly hit, who had apparently dashed across the road. What began as a query swiftly escalated into a heated argument.

Although they reportedly responded to Garcia’s questions, the confrontation intensified when Garcia, who had identified himself as a policeman, allegedly shoved them.

According to the report, he then drew his firearm and pointed it at the group, prompting them to scatter to evade potential harm.

When queried about whether Garcia was intoxicated at the time, Captain Roque Gimeno III, chief of Iloilo City Police Station 1, stated that intoxication could only be confirmed through a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. However, the accusers claimed that Garcia reeked of alcohol.

Gimeno further mentioned that Garcia allegedly feared being attacked by the group, which led him to draw his weapon.

Following this incident, Mark Anthony Ticson, 30, another resident of Gen. Hughes village, confronted Garcia about his actions, which resulted in Garcia also directing his gun at Ticson. Ticson managed to get help from police officers on patrol near Sunburst Park.

Garcia was subsequently arrested and found in possession of a caliber .9mm Glock 17 Gen 4 pistol (serial number PNP69345) with 17 rounds of ammunition.

Gimeno disclosed that the complainants have expressed their intention to press charges against Garcia.

However, he also noted that Garcia, now in custody at ICPS1, may consider filing a countercharge for direct assault.