‘Battle fatigue’ blamed for militiaman’s shooting spree in Ipil

“BATTLE fatigue” may have caused a militiaman to run amuck inside a detachment in Ipil town Zamboanga Sibugay Sunday night.

The incident resulted in the death of six of his fellow militiamen.  The gunman was eventually gunned down by soldiers in the ensuing chase.

Yesterday, Army chief Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz has ordered an investigation to determine why militiaman Oligario Vocal Jr., went on a shooting rampage.

“I have those rare and unfortunate incidents investigated, determine the cause and institute corrective measures to prevent similar occurrence of said incident,” Ortiz said in a text message to defense reporters.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Antonio Parlade Jr. said Vocal might have experienced “battle fatigue.”

“In the past, the causes of these kinds of incidents is ‘battle-fatigue’… and this is our suspicion,” Parlade said.

He disclosed that although the Army offers a program “stress debriefing” for battle-fatigued soldiers, this is available only to regular soldiers and not to militiamen.

The army spokesman added, “Right now, the program has not yet reach the Cafgu detachment and it is still in the upper units like the brigades of battalions,”

Parlade, however, said the shooting incident in Ipil town has prompted the Army to come up with a program that will address the battle-fatigued militiamen.

The reports said that Vocal, armed with his government issued M-14 suddenly fired upon his fellow militiamen killing five of them on the spot and wounding another, who later died at a hospital. Anthony Vargas

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