Soldier goes amuck at PMA, killing soldier, injuring another

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    A SOLDIER allegedly suffering from “mental health problem” went amuck inside the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City on Tuesday afternoon, killing a fellow soldier and wounding another.

    The soldier, Airman 2nd Class Christopher Lim, was shot and wounded during a scuffle with the soldier he injured, according to a report from the Cordillera Regional Police Office reported.

    Killed was S/Sgt. Joefrey Turqueza, also of the Air Force, while the injured victim was identified as S/Sgt. Vivencio Raton of the Army.

    Police said the incident occurred at around 4:35 p.m. at the enlisted personnel barracks at Fort Del Pilar, home to the PMA.

    Initial police investigation said Lim “approached and suddenly shot” Torqueza and Raton using an M16 rifle at the second floor of the barracks.

    Though wounded, Raton grappled for possession of Lim’s rifle, hitting and wounding the suspect in the process.

    Raton and Lim are confined at the Baguio General Hospital.

    “Accordingly, an Air Force Airman Second Class went amuck and fired indiscriminately in their barracks,” PMA spokeswoman Maj. Cherryl Tindog said, adding the PMA was “deeply saddened” by the incident.

    Tindog said PMA cadets were far away and were all safe in their barracks at the time of the incident.

    Tindog said an initial probe revealed the suspect is suffering from “mental health problem” but did not elaborate.

    “Our soldiers, like any other person, may have been silently struggling with such ordeal.

    Hence, the academy is now more than ever committed to attend to the mental health not only of our cadets but more so of every military personnel,” said Tindog.

    Tindog said the PMA will step up psycho-social intervention to identify and help personnel who may have mental health problems.

    “This is the PMA’s commitment to its personnel in order for them to remain psychologically fit for any mission given them,” Tindog said.