Criminal raps vs jail officer in Barotac Viejo shooting

By: Jennifer P. Rendon

CRIMINAL charges were filed against a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) officer over a shooting incident early morning of Aug. 15, 2019 in Barotac Viejo, Iloilo.

Jail Officer 1 Ryan Tupas was charged for murder and attempted murder with the use of unlicensed firearm before the Iloilo Provincial Prosecutors Office on Friday.

Tupas, 35 of Barangay San Juan, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo and assigned in Barotac Viejo district jail, allegedly shot dead Ernesto Pescador, 49 of Barangay Vista Alegre, Barotac Viejo.

He also poked his gun at Jay Unabia, the boyfriend of Pescador’s daughter. Unabia is now a principal witness against Tupas.

Police Major Ciriaco Esquilarga, Barotac Viejo police chief, said the suspect attacked the victims for no apparent reason or cause.

Tupas appeared to be drunk when the incident happened, Unabia said.

The witness added he was closing down their cafeteria while Pescador was waiting for him.  They then heard Tupas shouting.

The jail officer then shot Pescador and poked a gun at Unabia before trying to escape.

But Esquilarga said they cornered the suspect and brought him to the police station.

He yielded a pistol with an expired license.

Pescador was brought to the town’s hospital but was later referred to Western Visayas Medical Center where he died.

Meanwhile, Pescador’s wife Josephine said there was no bad blood between her husband and the suspect.

In fact, the two did not know or even meet each other prior to the shooting incident.

Josephine said they will pursue the charges against the suspect.

Senior Jail Officer 3 (SJO3) Leo Laserna of BJMP-Region 6 said the suspect had been in the service for 10 years already but he was never promoted to the next higher rank.

Two years ago, he was also involved in a shooting incident in Banate town where the victim also died. But he managed to amicably settle the case.

Lacerna said they will conduct an administrative investigation against Tupas to ascertain his liability.