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Police look into death of soldier in Evangelista

By NITZ ARANCON,
JIGGER JERUSALEM

and JOEY NACALABAN
Correspondents .

POLICE are investigating the death of a soldier inside his office at Camp Evangelista yesterday.

The soldier, 43-year-old T/Sgt. Rogelio Asuncion, of Negros Oriental, was found dead in the office that he had also used as quarters at dawn yesterday.

Police said Asuncion died of a gunshot wound in the chest, the bullet of which apparently came from a caliber .45 pistol, said SM/Sgt. Hernande Abalde of the Carmen police.

Army Capt. Leoden Bajado, civil-military relations officer at the 58th Infantry Battalion, said Asuncion served as finance and liaison officer of the 58th IB based in Claveria, Misamis Oriental.

In Asuncion’s office cum quarters, crime scene investigators found a caliber .45 pistol and bullets.

Police said they could not say yet if it was a case of suicide, accidental firing or if there was foul play.

City police spokesperson Maj. Evan Viñas said investigators were still determining the cause of Asuncion’s death.

“We are looking at all angles,” Viñas said.

He however said there were speculations that the soldier accidentally shot himself while he was cleaning his pistol in the wee hours.

Viñas said this could be determined through a paraffin test.

“If there are no traces of gunpowder burns on his hands, then we can say that there was foul play,” he said.

Viñas said the bullet hit Asuncion through the left side of the chest, and that bullet pierced through his heart.

Abalde said Asuncion’s death looked to him like it was caused by an accident.

“Posibling naghinlo ni siya sa iyang pusil, ug miboto,” Abalde said.

Capt. Bajado said Asuncion was in his usual self when they talked on the phone Sunday. Prior to his death, Asuncion had been based at Camp Evangelista.

“I called him (Asuncion) to follow up our subsistence allowance, and there was nothing in the tone of his voice that indicated that he was feeling depressed,” Bajado said. “Even his wife told me he had no personal problem.”

Bajado said the military would wait for the result of the the police investigation into Asuncion’s death.

Soldiers told investigators they heard a gunshot past 3 am inside an office, and that when they checked, they saw Asuncion bathed in his own blood. Asuncion was only wearing his underwear.

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