President Duterte's guard found dead with gunshot wound, foul play ruled out

President Rodrigo Duterte was in the area at the time, but the head of his Presidential Security Group said he was far from where the incident happened.
President Rodrigo Duterte was in the area at the time, but the head of his Presidential Security Group said he was far from where the incident happened.PHOTO: AFP

MANILA - An officer assigned to an elite presidential security detail was found dead on Tuesday (Sept 26) morning inside his quarters near where President Rodrigo Duterte stays while he is in the capital. 

Brigadier-General Lope Dagoy, head of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), told reporters that Major Harim Gonzaga, 37, had a gunshot wound in his chest when his wife found him at around 8.50am.

Major Gonzaga was staying with his family inside a sprawling compound that houses the PSG headquarters and Mr Duterte's residence. 

Brig-Gen Dagoy said Mr Duterte was in the area at the time, but added that the president was far from where the incident happened.  The president holds office at Malacanang Palace, across the river from the PSG’s headquarters.

Brig-Gen Dagoy declined to speculate whether Major Gonzaga killed himself or his gun misfired, but he ruled out “foul play”.

“There was no sign of a struggle in his quarters,” he told reporters.

He said a soldier heard a gunshot as he passed Major Gonzaga’s quarters, but he did not think there was anything amiss, as the place was near a firing range.

Major Gonzaga was with the PSG’s operations group, but he was not among those escorting Mr Duterte and providing security during his official trips, said Brig-Gen Dagoy.

(This story is developing)