Four people, including a village chairman and a policeman, were killed while four others were injured in a shootout at a bikini pageant in Iloilo City early Friday, police said.

Senior Supt. Marietto Valerio, Iloilo City Police director, identified the fatalities as Brgy. Tacas chairman Rolando Tabuada Jr., 41; PO3 Jerome Jaculina, of the Jaro Police Station; his cousin Remy Jaculina, 29; and bystander Avelino Sabidalas, 54.

Still being treated at the hospital are Tabuada’s “trusted man” Archie Degoma, 40; Rio, 29, and Richard Jaculina, 29, brother and cousin of the policeman, respectively; and Sonia Apostol, 56.

The incident occurred inside the covered court of Brgy. Tacas, Jaro district, around 12:10 a.m., while the group of Tabuada and the Jaculinas were watching the “Search for Ms. Summer Babe.”

The pageant is a bikini contest organized by the village to raise funds for their fiesta this Sunday.

Groups are allowed to watch the pageant on tables, for which they will pay P1,500 inclusive of beer and “pulutan” (finger food), Valerio said in a phone interview.

A report from the Western Visayas regional police office said Tabuada’s group approached the Jaculinas’ table, until a “heated argument” ensued.

“In the course of their argument, both parties drew their firearms and the firefight happened,” the report said.

But according to Valerio, the Jaculinas were on their way out of the covered court when the shooting occurred.

“Patapos na ‘yung programa nung mangyari ‘yung incident, dahil itong si PO3 Jerome Jaculina ay tumayo na para siya’y umalis,” he said.

The police official, however, said that before this, Jaculina had an argument with the person collecting table fees.

“Parang kulang ‘yung bayad, pero naayos din dahil magkakakilala sila, humingi pa raw ng dispensa itong si PO3 Jerome Jaculina, so tumayo sila, paalis na, then suddenly nagkaputukan,” Valerio said.

“Dahil na rin siguro sa nainom nilang alak, ‘yun, nagkatitigan, ‘yung mga ikinilos, ‘yung pagpoporma, maaaring ‘yun. Puro lalaki kasi ang mga ito, so baka nagkasagian o anuman, kaya humantong sa ganyang sitwasyon,” he said.

Investigators, however, have yet to determine whose group fired first, according to the official.

Local policemen arrived, but were unable to enter the court immediately as people were rushing to get out, he said.

“Wala na silang inabutan dun sa pangyayari, maliban lang dun sa mga tinamaan ng baril,” Valerio said.

Found at the scene were 32 spent shells of caliber-.45 pistols, 39 spent shells of caliber-.9mm pistols, two spent shells of a caliber-.38 pistol, and 13 deformed slugs. (John Roson)

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