Soldier sent to jail for `shooting’ girl, 8

Soldier sent to jail for `shooting’ girl, 8
PANTUKAN, Compostela Valley – An off-duty soldier from the 71st Infantry Battalion (IB) identified as Private First Class (Pfc) Baltazar M. Ramos, accidentally pulled the trigger of his rifle that hit an eight-year old girl, last September 2, 2011, at around 11:30 p.m.
The incident occurred in sitio Biasong, Barangay Napnapan, Pantukan, Compostela Valley.
Initial investigation showed that Pfc Ramos had a heated altercation with another person who, along with several others, was then drinking at a nearby videoke hut.
One of the members of the group attempted to hit Ramos with a bottle on his head. Agitated, Ramos took his rifle from his patrol base to confront the said person. His fellow soldiers blocked his way to pacify him. They were able to remove the ammunition magazine but not the remaining bullet in the chamber. During the pacification process. Ramos accidentally pulled the trigger of his rifle hitting the victim identified as Sunshine Jabinez, a resident of the said sitio.
Jabinez was immediately rushed to Pantukan District Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.
According to Lt. Col. Camilo Z. Ligayo, commander of the 71st IB, that “we do not condone any acts committed by our soldiers in violation of our laws. Pfc Ramos is outrightly discharged from the military service and will face appropriate criminal charges. I had him immediately jailed at the Pantukan Municipal Police Detention Cell. We will make sure that justice is served to the family of the late Sunshine Jabinez and that all of their needs will be provided by this unit.”
Meanwhile, Major Gen. Jorge V. Sigovia, commander of the 10th Infantry Division, said that the culprit will be outrightly discharged without benefits and others involved may face similar administrative punishment.
“The perpetrator is now in jail and the company commander has so far been relieved. But it will not end there. We abhor such behavior and I sincerely apologize to the family of the victim and to the people of Comval,” Sigovia said.
He also directed the brigade commander of the 1001st Infantry Brigade to personally check the situation and determine needed assistance of the victim’s family.
The three soldiers who were with Ramos were detained inside the headquarters of the 71st IB for further investigation.

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