By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – A 26-year-old man surrendered to the police three days after a commotion that wounded a soldier and his girlfriend in Barangay Handumanan here on January 4.
Police identified the suspect as Jeffrey Laya-on of the said village.
Major Lelanie Lagoting, head of Police Station 10, said the suspect was accompanied by his mother and aunt when he asked assistance from the Mobile Patrol Unit to surrender to the police station.
Lagoting said that Laya-on surfaced because he was alarmed when he learned that a soldier was wounded in the incident.
Laya-on told the police that he allegedly shot Corporal Jasper Gancia, 34, of Barangay Bata here when the latter reportedly tried to pull his firearm when they figured in a commotion.
The commotion stemmed from a heated argument between the suspect and Teodoro, the father of Gancia’s girlfriend, who was celebrating his birthday at that time.
Teodoro said that he asked three bystanders where he could buy some cigarettes, but he did not like how they responded which led to an argument.
Gancia responded to pacify them, but it led to a firefight, according to Lagoting.
Lagoting said Laya-on alleged that he was the only person who was involved in the incident, but police said that they would have to check the other alleged persons involved, as there were some people in the area.
Lagoting said that after the incident, the suspect hid in a sugarcane field due to fear, and even threw his homemade firearm.
Since the reglementary detention period had lapsed, Laya-on was released from jail and will be charged regularly for attempted homicide and frustrated homicide, the station commander said.
Lagoting said Gancia is still confined in a hospital, while his girlfriend, who suffered a minor gunshot wound in the hand, was discharged.
Gancia is assigned to Marawi City, Lanao del Sur and went home here for a vacation on December 28, 2023, when the incident happened, according to Lagoting.