MURDER ON FRIDAY THE 13TH: Trader shot dead in city’s public market

SCENE of the crime operatives investigate the killing of quail egg trader Ranny Bibangco at the Iloilo Terminal Market in downtown Iloilo City on July 13, 2018. (Jennifer P. Rendon)

THE throng of market-goers at the Iloilo Terminal Market in downtown Iloilo City did not deter “riding-in-tandem” gunmen to carry a hit on an egg trader early morning of July 13, 2018.

The incident happened past 6 a.m. Friday in the market’s southern portion at Zone 2, Barangay Rizal Pala-Pala, City Proper district.

Ranny Bibangco, 33, of Trance Street, Branch 2, Tigbauan, Iloilo died on the spot from a gunshot injury on the forehead. The bullet exited his nape, based on the initial police investigation.

Police accounts indicated that Bibangco was talking to a friend, who is a fruit vendor, while sitting on his multi-cab vehicle shortly before he was shot.

A witness claimed that two motorcycle-riding persons arrived and the back rider alighted and approached the victim.

The back rider, who wore a mask and a hooded jacket, pulled what was believed to be a caliber .38 revolver and shot Bibangco at close range.

Superintendent Jonathan Pablito, Iloilo City Police Station 1 chief, said the suspect only fired once before leaving on board a blue motorcycle.

Bibangco’s friend was unscathed.

Witnesses failed to give a detailed description of the driver but they claimed the motorcycle had no registration plate.

Bibangco was on his regular morning delivery of quail eggs when he was killed.

He was waiting for his cousin Edsel outside the Terminal Market when the attacked occurred.

Edsel claimed he had just exited the market when he heard gunfire.

He allegedly saw the assailant placing his gun inside a bag while fleeing on the motorcycle.

 

POSSIBLE MOTIVES

Pablito said they are eyeing at least four possible motives behind Bibangco’s murder.

“First, there was the love triangle motive,” he added.

Citing a report from Tigbauan Police Station, the victim allegedly had an illicit relationship with the wife of a seafarer.

Pablito said they are also looking at business as another angle.

Bibangco’s father claimed that the victim was earning around P6,000 a day from his quail eggs business

He parted ways with a former business partner who allegedly threatened him some three months ago.

Pablito said the victim was also an avid basketball gambler.

“There are people who lost big money in the basketball game betting. These people could have harbored grudges against him,” he added.

Pablito said they are also verifying if the victim was in the watch list of illegal drug personalities.

But Senior Inspector Hermogenes Eulatic, Tigbauan police chief, confirmed that Bibangco never had brushes with the law in their town, particularly illegal drugs.

But Eulatic confirmed that he once asked the victim to persuade his cousin, Jemark Bibangco, to yield through Oplan Tokhang.

Jemark is a high-value target (HVT) drug personality in Tigbauan town.

The victim also frequented the police station but Eulatic said it is because of his quail eggs business with some police officers.

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