Soldier dead in altercation with fellow soldier

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    A SOLDIER from the Army’s counter-terrorism unit shot and killed a fellow soldier who stabbed and injured him outside the Army headquarters in Taguig City early yesterday.

    T/Sgt. Gilbert Gella, assigned with the Army’s Light Reaction Regiment based in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, and his five companions are now in the custody of the police and military.

    The fatality was identified as Private First Class Niko Del Pilar, assigned with Army’s Headquarters and Headquarters Support Group in Fort Bonifacio.

    Army spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said Gella and Del Pilar, both off duty and in civilian attire, had a heated argument over an unspecified issue outside the Army headquarters, specifically along Bayani Road, at around 2 a.m.

    “In the former’s (Gella) bid to avoid escalation, (he) proceeded to his vehicle to leave the area. As he was about to drive away, Del Pilar ran towards Gella’s passenger side and took out his knife and stabbed Gella,” said Zagala, citing initial information.

    Zagala said this prompted Gella, who sustained knife wounds in his forearm, to reach out for his gun and fatally shot Del Pilar in the neck.

    Gella and three of his companions, also Army soldiers, surrendered to the Military Police Battalion in Fort Bonifacio. Gella is currently confined at a hospital for the treatment of his wounds.

    His two companions – Sgt. John Necesito and househelp Jepoy Arcilla – also surrendered and were later turned over to the custody of the Taguig City police.

    Zagala said the soldiers involved will face administrative cases under the Articles of War, on top of the criminal charges that may be filed against them by the police.

    “In accordance with our military justice system, we will establish the cause of the argument that led to the unfortunate incident as we work with the proper authorities for the swift resolution of the criminal case and assure the bereaved family of justice,” said Zagala.