Village chief’s senseless murder pains wife

CEBU. Anecita Bartilic (in white shirt) is comforted by her relatives as she looks at the coffin of her husband, slain Lawaan 3 village chief Jimmy Bartilic. Jimmy was one of three men killed in a fatal shooting incident in Barangay Lawaan 3, Talisay City last Thursday, May 16. (SunStar photo/ Wenilyn B. Sabalo)

JIMMY Bartilic played with his family’s pet dog named Princess and he later bathed her before he went to the barangay hall of Lawaan 3 in Talisay City last Thursday morning, May 16.

There was no sign of his impending death, according to his wife Anecita.

Jimmy, 59, later left their house and he went to the barangay hall as he had a duty to fulfill as the village’s chief: settling the dispute between Dean Torefranca, a retired member of the US Marines, and his stepson, Jed Ybañez.

Torefranca shot dead Jimmy and Ybañez. Police later killed Torefranca in a shootout.

The youngest of Jimmy’s two sons perished after mv Princess of the Stars sank off the coast of Romblon on June 21, 2008.

Anecita, 58, said she could not describe the pain she felt in losing two loved ones in a span of nearly 11 years. Her anguish made her unable to sleep for around 20 hours since her husband’s death.

Anecita said she did not just lose a husband, but a best friend as well.

In their 41 years of marriage, Anecita said Jimmy was always on her side.

“He really cared for me. Even at work, he did not forget to always check on me if I had eaten already. He usually asked me what I wanted to eat and he cooked food for me,” she said.

Anecita said it would take time before she could accept Jimmy’s untimely death.

“Pagkapaita sa kinabuhi. Kaluoy sad niya nganong naingon ana siya. Nganong imo kong gibiyaan, Jim (Life is terrible. How pitiful that he had to endure such a fate. Why did you leave me, Jim)?” she said in tears.

As the barangay captain of Lawaan 3, Jimmy often acted as mediator for his constituents embroiled in personal conflicts.

Anecita said her husband never mentioned to her that he was trying to resolve the dispute between Torefranca and Ybañez.

According to Lawaan 3 Barangay Councilor Reggie Marababol, Jimmy often tried to solve the problems all by himself.

Jimmy, he said, would refer the problem to the Lupon Tagapamayapa (a pacification committee) if he could not resolve it, but Marababol said it rarely happened as he was a good mediator.

Marababol was stunned by the incident, saying it did not occur to him that it would happen.

“Kap did not expect that to happen because he was okay with Dean, who was a silent type of guy. They were also friends,” he said in Cebuano.

Torefranca left the barangay hall after the mediation ended.

Jimmy later accompanied Ybañez to the latter’s house so the vault, where the land titles and other documents were kept, could be opened. They were shot by Torefranca.

A responsible father and grandfather, Jimmy was close to his constituents for being a people person.

Tanod Allan Echavez said he could not forget Jimmy’s kindness. He could borrow money from the village chief if his honorarium was delayed.

Before he was elected barangay captain in October last year, Jimmy had served Lawaan 3 as councilor for three consecutive terms. His burial is scheduled on Sunday, May 26.


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