Soldier runs amok, kills 5 comrades PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 23 October 2015 11:23

An Army soldier ran amok Thursday morning, killing five of his comrades, including two junior officers in Basilan.

Philippine Army spokesperson Col. Benjamin Hao said the violent incident occurred around 8:45 a.m. inside the headquarters of Bravo Company, 64th Infantry Battalion at Upper Cabengbeng, Sumisip, Basilan.

The amok soldier identified as Corporal Tahiruddin A. Taha was also shot and killed by responding troops,

He also shot and wounded eight soldiers and one civilian before he was shot dead, Hao said.

Among those killed were a first and second lieutenant and four enlisted personnel, including the amok.

Of the nine wounded, eight were military personnel, the highest ranking a 1st lieutenant, and one civilian.

At the multi-purpose hall, around 20 to 30 persons were having a bible study when Taha made his way at the back and opened fire on the group with his M-16 automatic rifle.

Initially, Taha approached the duty guard and volunteered to take his place, according to Hao.

However, the guard told Taha to comeback at around 12 noon as it was scheduled duty time.

The suspect then responded, Okay, I’ll just wash my clothes.”

Taha was a Moro National Liberation Front rebel who was one of the many other rebels integrated to the Army after the rebel group signed a peace agreement with the Philippine government in 1996.

Col. Hao  said was a  37-year-old mortar gunner of Bravo Company, 64th Infantry Battalion, and a native of Indanan, Sulu. He has been in the army service for 12 years.

“We have no derogatory records on Taha,” Hao added.

Killed in the attack were 2nd Lt. Alvin C. Ebina, Cpl. Robert F. Jondayran, Pfc. Jessrell V. Calud, 1st Lt. Camlon Martin M. Puao and Staff Sgt. Jonathan C. Galicto.

Wounded were 1st Lt. Pada K. Guingar, Technical Sgt. Jerry C. Cardoza, Sgt. Anthony A. Bentoy, Pfc. Elber C. Noble, Pfc. Ruel M. Macalapay, Pfc. Nelson C. Calambro, Pfc. Junnel C. Cajote, Pfc. Remie L. Espanola, Jr. and Pastor Rolly Matson.

Hao said Taha just returned from a two-week vacation to settle some “family problems.”

The Army spokesperson said there had been no signs earlier that the soldier will go berserk.

His comrade soldiers however said the amok’s behavior had been strange lately.

Hao said the fatalities and wounded personnel were immediately airlifted to the 104th Infantry Brigade headquarters in Isabela City for transfer to the military’s Western Mindanao Command headquarters in Zamboanga City.

Hao said a medical and psychological team will be deployed immediately to the military facility to determine the cause of the incident.

The town of Sumisip is one of at least three towns in Basilan where government troops have been fighting Abu Sayyaf militants.

The Army spokesperson said they had also sought the help of the police in investigating the incident.