Village chief, stepdad, stepson dead in Talisay carnage
Camille L. Pateres (The Freeman) - May 17, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — A property feud between a stepfather and his stepson ended in their tragic deaths and also claimed the life of the mediating village chief in Barangay Lawaan 3, Talisay City yesterday.

The victims were identified as Lawaan 3 barangay captain Jimmy Bartilic and Mc Jade Ybañez, son of the deceased former barangay captain Delia Torrefranca.

The suspect, identified as Dean Torrefranca, was killed by the police in the ensuing gunfight.

Dean, a former US Marine officer and holder of a US citizenship, had been married to Delia for five years before the latter died last month.

Police Regional Office-7 director, Brigadier General Debold Sinas, said that Dean and Ybañez were embroiled in an ownership row over some of the assets left behind by Delia, which include a house, lands, and cars.

In an attempt to resolve the dispute, Ybañez, accompanied by his uncle and former policeman Boboy Omaña, sought the help of Bartilic at the barangay hall yesterday morning.

However, the two camps did not arrive at a compromise there. Instead, Dean allegedly insisted on settling the dispute in his house where the vault containing important documents such as titles to lands and other properties, including a house in Beverly Hills, was kept.

Everyone walked their way to the house – Ybañez, his uncle Boboy, Bartilic, some kagawads, and barangay tanods.

The Ugly Turn

Unknown to them, Dean had a different plan.

“Nag-una siya og lakaw namo maong naka-penetrate dayon siya sa balay. Nakit-an na lang nako nga nikuha og armas unya nikasa na siya. Nidagan na lang ko kay wala man koy dala nga armas (Dean arrived in the house first. The next thing I saw, he was already grabbing his firearm, and was loading it, so I scampered to safety since I was not bringing any gun),” Omaña told reporters.

A few seconds after, Dean opened fire at the crowd, killing Ybañez and Bartilic who were running for their life.

Not satisfied of his rampage, Dean proceeded to set the house on fire.

He also allegedly refused to negotiate with the responding policemen and instead engaged them in a firefight using his high-powered firearm.

Positioned on the second floor, he initially had a good vantage point. There, he traded shots with the police for more than two hours.

The police later got the upperhand after Dean was trapped in the fire that had already spread to the other parts of the house.

Police Major Ardeolito Cabagnot, deputy chief of Talisay City Police Station, positioned himself at the rooftop before deciding to inch closer to the suspect.

“Mga one meter lang gyud among gilay-on sa suspek pero nipasalipod ko sa bungbong, dayon gipalusot nako ang tumoy sa akong armas, dayon paarak (I hid behind the wall, about a meter away from the suspect, then I aimed the tip of my gun at him, then fired),” Cabagnot said.

After exhausting his two magazines, Cabagnot and his men saw the suspect lying on the floor, apparently with burns.

Cabagnot believed they were able to hit the suspect before he was exposed to the heat.

The suspect was found to be wearing bullet-proof vest.

Firefighters soon came in to douse the fire that had not thankfully spread to the nearby houses.

‘Case Closed’

With Dean’s death, Sinas considered the incident as a closed case.

Omaña explained that Ybañez had been at the receiving end of Dean’s threats so his nephew had since been staying in his house in Barangay Labangon, Cebu City.

Omaña said he and his other relatives would have only wanted to take ownership of the house in Lawaan and two vehicles owned by Delia, arguing that the house was built and the vehicles bought before she married Dean.

“Gitukod nang balaya kadto pang wa pa mamatay iyang unang bana. Unsa may katungod niya anang balaya di man na iyaha? (The house was built before her first husband died. What right does Dean have?)” he said.

Now that Dean and Ybañez are dead, Ybañez’ sister Quennie, who is currently out of the country, is expected to take reins over the properties they were quarreling over. — with Gabriel C. Bonjoc JMD (FREEMAN)

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