By: Francis Allan L. Angelo
THE DEATH of four persons including a barangay captain and a police officer in a bikini open competition in Jaro district has prompted the Iloilo City Hall to ban such shows in barangays.
The 15-minute gunfight at Brgy. Tacas, Jaro erupted around 12:10am Friday and claimed the lives of Punong Barangay Rolando J. Tabuada, 41, of Tacas; PO3 Jerome G. Jaculina, 38, of the Iloilo City Police intelligence section; Remy Jaculina, (cousin of the slain cop), 29; and bystander Avelino Sabidalas, 54.
Wounded in the shootout are barangay tanod (watchman) Archie Degoma, 40; Rio Jaculina, 29; Richard Jaculina, 38; and Sonia Apostol, 56.
S/Supt. Marietto Valerio, Iloilo City Police Office director, said PO3 Jaculina figured in an argument with the organizers of the barangay's "Search for Summer Babe" competition over his bills worth more than P2,000.
PO3 Jaculina thought his bills was only P1,500 which was the price of the ticket for the bikini competition but it turned out that he and his relatives may have ordered food and drinks in excess of the ticket price.
Tabuada and Degoma then responded to the altercation and later settled the trouble between Jaculina and the organizers.
"PO3 Jaculina even apologized to the organizers and Tabuada whom he personally knows because they are neighbors. But gunfire suddenly erupted and according to the witnesses we interviewed, Degoma first shot Jaculina then all hell broke lose. The shootout lasted around 15 minutes," Valerio said.
Police could not ascertain yet who shot barangay chairman Tabuada.
Recovered inside the barangay gym where the shooting happened were 32 spent shells of caliber .45 bullets, 39 shells of caliber 9mm bullets, two shells of caliber .38 bullets and 13 slugs.
Valerio said they are looking for more witnesses as the persons that they initially investigated appeared to be "partial to Jaculina."
"We need more people to testify who started it all. And we also need to recover the guns for ballistic tests," he added.
‘Bikini open ban’
Hours after the shootout, Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog issued an executive order banning bikini open competitions in barangay and prohibiting liquors inside the venue of fiesta-related activities.
The order also prohibited police officers and other state security agents, whether on or off duty, from mingling or entering venues of fiesta activities except when requested to respond to security concerns.
Aside from the Tacas shootout, Mabilog said bikini open contests which feature scantily clad women “degrades women’s dignity and honor.”
“Fiesta celebrations are communal spiritual gatherings, thus, such activities are out of place. And liquors should be banned from fiesta-related activities because violent incidents caused by the raging male egos when they get drunk,” he added.
Mabilog said the rules will be the added to the requirements for the issuance of permits to barangay fiesta activities.
City Hall is also researching if an ordinance similar to the new executive order exists. If not, Mabilog will push for the enactment of a city ordinance banning bikini opens for good.
Mabilog said the Tacas incident is unfortunate and frustrating due to the loss of a promising village leader.
Valerio said they offered to deploy police personnel during the bikini competition in Tacas but barangay officials said they will take care of the security arrangements.
"I have reminded all police stations to monitor activities such as competitions and benefit dances and to deploy personnel regardless if there is a request or none so we can secure the area and check the entry of firearms," Valerio added.