Army sergeant killed in Cebu camp

September 4, 2009 CEBU CITY, Philippines - An Army sergeant was shot dead by a subordinate who resented being roused early to clean up the mess hall at a military camp in Cebu City early Friday morning, police said.

Police investigators identified the fatality as Staff Sgt. Romeo Mendez, 42, of Ubay town, Bohol.

Mendez was the supply sergeant of the 7th Finance Service Unit based at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Central Command (Centcom) headquarters located in Barangay Apas, Cebu City.

The suspect, Corporal Jesusito Bayang, 32, of Surigao del Norte, told the police that he was asleep in his quarters at about 5 a.m. when Mendez woke him by pulling his legs because he was on clean-up duty, according to SPO4 Alex Dacua, investigator of the Cebu City Police Office homicide section.

Bayang told the police that he complained to Mendez about the manner he was awakened especially when the cleaning was scheduled at 6 a.m., Dacua said.

Mendez went to the mess hall to drink coffee but Bayang went after him to continue to complain.

After an exchange of heated words, Mendez stressed that he was superior in rank to Bayang so the latter had no right to complain, according Dacua.

Bayang returned to his sleeping quarters to get his .45-caliber service pistol, went back to the mess hall and shot Mendez five times.

Mendez died on the spot. He was hit mostly in the left shoulder, with a bullet hitting his armpit and another one findings its mark on the neck, Dacua said.

Bayang surrendered immediately after the 5:20 a.m. shooting to Sgt. Nolito Abad, duty sergeant of the Centcom military police. He also gave up his .45 caliber pistol containing two live bullets.

Dacua said the police recovered five empty .45-caliber shells from the site of the shooting.

The police were preparing murder charges against Bayang, according to Dacua. (Inquirer)

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