BY IAN PAUL CORDERO and GLENDA SOLOGASTOA
ILOILO City – Friday the 13th yesterday was an unlucky day for a 33-year-old businessman. He was shot to death early morning outside the Iloilo Terminal Market. The gunman and a motorcycle-driving companion then fled.
Following the brazen broad daylight killing, Mayor Jose Espinosa III called for the deployment of more policemen on the streets. People need assurance that they are safe, he stressed.
Ranny Bibangco, a supplier of quail eggs to market vendors at three big public markets in this city, was riddled with bullets at around 6 a.m. while talking to a friend at a fruit stand on Rizal Street, Barangay Rizal Pala-pala, City Proper.
The resident of Barangay Dos, Tigbauan, Iloilo delivered quail eggs to clients daily, according to Superintendent Jonathan Pablito, chief of Iloilo City Police Office’s Police Station 1.
Bibangco was shot at close range. Citing statements from witnesses, Pablito said the gunman was just a foot away from his victim.
“The police’s presence must be felt,” stressed Espinosa.
The city government is procuring 12 more patrol cars and other security-related equipment, he revealed.
As of this writing, police investigators were still ascertaining what kind of gun was used on Bibangco who was helping run their family’s quail eggs business.
“Hambal na kanon, ‘Tay budlay ka nimo sage ka byahe-byahe. Buligan ta ikaw,’” said Bibangco’s father Romari.
Romari rushed to Iloilo City from Tigbauan after learning that his son was shot. He said Ranny had no known enemies.
“After delivering quail eggs to our clients early morning each day, he would go home and we would have breakfast together,” said Romari.
The police station of Tigbauan, Iloilo would help in the investigation, said Pablito.
“He was shot with a revolver, possibly a .38 revolver,” he said.
No spent bullet shells were recovered from the crime scene.
“If de bola, hindi lalabas ‘yung basyo,” explained Pablito.
Already, the Tigbauan police said Bibangco was “clean.” He had no record at the municipal police station, according to Pablito.
In fact, Bibangco facilitated the surrender of a cousin suspected to be involved in illegal drugs, the police officer said.
“Ano gid ang sala ka bata ko para amohon gid nanda ka dya,” asked Romari.
A witness gave Police Station 1 a description of the gunman.
“We will share the information with the Tigbauan police,” said Pablito. “Hopefully mag-positive at ma-solve natin ang kaso soonest.”
Mayor Espinosa urged residents to cooperate with the police in maintaining peace and order. Not all nooks and crannies of the city could be guarded by policemen at all times, he stressed.
As of this writing, Bibangco was being prepared for autopsy. According to Chief Inspector Hilarion Roga, commander of the police’s Scene of the Crime Operatives, the victim had gunshot wounds on the head, back and neck.
“The wound on the head was likely the fatal shot,” said Roga.
Investigators have not ruled out anything yet. According to Pablito, the crime could be business-related.
He described Bibangco as a big supplier of quail eggs with clients at the Iloilo Terminal Market, Jaro and La Paz public markets.
He could earn as high as P6,000 in a day, said Pablito, citing a statement from a cousin of the victim.
Pablito also said the father told him that Bibangco once talked about having a falling out with a former business partner from a southern Iloilo town.
“Over dinner, nabanggit ng anak na he was being threatened by this former business partner and he was warned to better watch his back,” said Pablito.
The police chief said Bibangco may also have relationship issues. From what he had gathered from the Tigbauan police, Pablito said a seaman once lodged a complaint at the police station’s Women and Children Protection Desk against his wife and Bibangco.
“May na-receive din tayong information, pero unverified pa, that he might be a drug personality sa listahan nga Iloilo Police Provincial Office,” added Pablito./PN