SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – A practical joke by a drunken police officer based here turned fatal that resulted in the killing of his drinking companions and injuring another in Barangay Santiago Sur here Wednesday night.
Police Superintendent Dennis R. Rodriguez, city police chief, identified the suspect as PO1 Ricardo A. Rillo, 44, resident of the said village, and one of his policemen assigned at Santiago Police Community Precinct.
The fatalities were identified as Willie D. Fernando, 48, and Joseph Balanag, who died on the spot after they were shot several times with a handgun by Rillo.
The other victim Christian Fernando, 23 and nephew of Willie, sustained injuries and was brought to the nearby Ilocos Training Regional Medical Center for treatment. All of them were residents of the same village.
Rodriguez, quoting certain Pedro Apiado, one of their companions in the drinking session and relative of one of the victims, said that the suspect and the victims had a heated argument. Christian pacified them but he was also gunned down.
It was not clear what joke that either of the fatalities played on Rillo that angered him.
Apiado, also one of their companions in the drinking spree that started in the early evening, said that he and the Rillo went home, but victims were left behind and continued the drinking spree.
Around 8:45 p.m. Rillo returned to the drinking session area, and without hesitation shot the victims several times, and fled on foot.
Responding cops of the Scene of the Crime Operatives recovered 10 pieces of fired ammo of cal.45, and two deformed fired bullets.
The suspect was arrested by joint police operatives and is now detained at the City Police Station. It is understood that charges of murder and frustrated murder will be filed against him in the local court. Erwin Beleo and Jun Elias/NPN-northboundasia.com