By Jennifer P. Rendon
What was supposed to be a happy reunion for a family in Jaro, Iloilo City turned into a nightmare after a man accidentally fired his gun and hit his 18-year-old daughter.
Rodelio Allaga, 47, was allegedly drunk when the incident happened late evening of Jan 21, 2022 inside their house at Barangay Tabuc Suba, Jaro district.
When he got sober hours later, Allaga had no recollection of what happened and was in disbelief that he killed his own daughter, August Melody.
Reports indicated that Allaga accidentally pulled the trigger of his caliber .45 pistol and hit the victim on her mouth.
She was rushed to West Visayas State University Medical Center but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Captain Eduardo Siacon Jr., Jaro police chief, said the suspect hastily left their house and fell asleep in a vegetated area not far from their house.
He peacefully went with the police when he was arrested.
Allaga and his estranged wife have two daughters, August Melody and Roda Jane.
Since their separation, the girls stayed with their father, who works as a close-in security aide of a politician in Antique province.
Allaga mostly spent his time away from his two daughters because of his work.
Roda Jane said that her sister had always been close to their father.
The victim got excited upon learning that her father went home from work.
Allaga didn’t head straight home and had a drink with some friends. He went home around 11:30 p.m.
Roda Jane said that her sister even assisted and hugged their father who came home visibly drunk.
She then told him to sleep on a folding bed, as he might not be able to make it to the bedroom.
Roda Jane claimed that they are used to their father checking on his firearm before going to sleep.
“He would usually take the magazine and check if there’s a bullet in the chamber,” she said in the vernacular.
Allaga did the same on the night the incident happened.
But during the process, he lost balance and hit his elbow while his finger was still on the trigger.
This may have led to Allaga pulling the trigger and hit August Melody.
Roda Jane said that he did not immediately know that her sister got hit until she fell.
“What happened was an accident. We don’t blame Papa,” she said.
Even Barangay Captain Joseph Poral, a relative of Allaga’s wife, averred that the suspect is a loving father to his children.
Despite his work, Allaga saw to it that he could take care of them by providing for their financial needs, Poral added.
When sober, Allaga said he was not aware of what happened. He allegedly woke up in a vegetated area after his brother called him and asked him about the incident.
Allaga retorted, “what did I do?”
It was then that he was told about what happened to her second child.
Crying, Allaga said he could only remember going home and everything else was not clear.
Siacon said they are encouraging Roda Jane to file charges, but the latter was apparently bent on not pursuing a case against her father.
The police would also be checking if the suspect’s gun has a license.
“But so far, he did not present any document,” he said.
Allaga is detained at the lock-up cell of Jaro Police Station.