A FAMILY dispute in Barangay Lawa-an 3, Talisay City resulted in the death of three men around noon last Thursday, May 16.
The victims were identified as Barangay Captain Jimmy Bartilic, 59; Jed Ybañez, 30; and Ybañez's stepfather Dean Torefranco.
Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Brigadier General Debold Sinas said Jed and Torefranco were fighting over the properties left by Jed's mother, former Lawa-an 3 barangay captain Delia Ybañez, who died a month ago.
“Jed wanted to kick his stepfather out of their house after his mother died. They fought over her belongings. It started with a vault and then they were fighting over a car,” Sinas said in Cebuano.
Bartilic had summoned Jed, Torefranco and Jed's uncle Buboy Omaña to the barangay hall in the morning to try and settle the matter.
“At the barangay hall, Torefranco looked for the key to their car but Ybañez reportedly would not give it to him. When Bartilic told Torefranco he would accompany them to the Ybañez house so the vault, where the land titles and other documents were kept, could be opened, Torefranco left ahead of them. When Bartilic, Jed and Omaña arrived at the Ybañez residence, Torefranco fired at them.
Jed, the youngest of Delia's two children, and Bartilic were killed.
Police later killed Torefranco, a retired member of the US Marines, after he exchanged fire with them.
Torefranco was only married to Delia for three years. Authorities have yet to verify reports that he was involved in illegal gambling.
Omaña, who survived because he was able to run when Torefranco started shooting, said Jed had been receiving death threats from his stepfather.
According to Sinas, one of the neighbors saw Torefranco in full battle gear before the shootout.
When authorities arrived to pacify Torefranco, he ran to the second floor of the two-story house and set it on fire so the snipers would have a hard time spotting him.
Police Mayor Ardiolito Cabagnot, deputy chief of the Talisay City Police Station, said they recovered two empty magazines of an AK-47 and an empty shell of a .45 pistol from the scene.
“Police found an AK-47 by Torefranco's side. He was wearing a vest. Part of his face looked like it had melted because of the fire,” Cabagnot said in Cebuano.
None of the police were hurt, although a bullet grazed the face of a member of the Provincial Intelligence Branch.
Upon learning the incident, Dr. Lino Alanzado, one of Jed’s colleague at the Talisay City Health Office where the victim worked as an admininstration assistant, rushed to the scene with the hopes of reviving Jed and Bartilic.
Police, though, weren't able to recover their bodies until after the shootout, which lasted almost two hours.
Meanwhile, one of the Ybanez’ neighbors, 74-year-old Reynaldo Valleja, who, along with his wife, two grandchildren, son and sister-in-law, retreated inside their house when the shooting started, said Torefranco’s behavior slowly changed after Delia died.
“Maayong tawo man na. Pagkamatay lang sa asawa, walay kaon-kaon. Pirme lang naa sa balay (He was a good man. However, he stopped eating when his wife died. He also hardly left the house),” he said.
Teresita Moralito, another neighbor, was arrested after she went wild when police would not let her near the crime scene.
She claimed her old and sickly mother was inside their house. She was brought to the Talisay City Police Station.
In a related development, a seven-year-old boy was hit by a fire truck responding to the fire started by Torefranco.
"Pagsaka namo padung kay naa mi nabanggaan but wala namo makuan jud ma'am kay alarm man gud amo girespondehan (We hit something but we couldn't stop because we were responding to the alarm)," said FO1 Ricker Tabera of the Talisay City Fire Station, driver of the firetruck.
The boy was able to stand up, but he panicked when he noticed the blood trickling down his head.
FO1 John Henry Santos said the boy was rushed to the district hospital for medical attention. He was discharged from the hospital around 1p.m.
9 a.m.--Jed Ybañez and his uncle Buboy Omaña went to the Lawa-an 3 Barangay Hall to settle Jed's dispute with his stepfather Dean Torefranco.
11 a.m.--Jed and his uncle, accompanied by Barangay Captain Jimmy Bartilic, went to the Ybañez residence where they were met by Torefranco, who started shooting at them.
11:30 a.m.--Police arrived at the scene.
11:30-1:30 p.m.--In the middle of the shootout between Torefranco and the police, the former set fire to the second floor of the house.
1:35 p.m.--Police neutralize the suspect.
3:45 p.m.--Members of the Scene of the Crime Operatives recovered the bodies of Bartilic, Jed and Torefranco. (WBS)