Jail guard nabbed for murder raps

By: Jennifer P. Rendon 

Jail guard turned detainee.

A member of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) who figured in a controversial shooting incident several months ago was arrested morning of Dec. 19, 2019 in Barotac Viejo, Iloilo.

Jail Officer 1 Ryan Tupas, 35, of Barangay San Juan, Barotac Viejo, was nabbed at his farm in General Luna village.

Police Staff Sergeant Nelios Anico, Barotac Viejo police investigator, said the suspect offered no resistance.

“It’s as if he expected it,” he said.

Tupas was arrested by virtue of an arrest warrant for murder in Criminal Case No. 2019-9249 issued by Regional Trial Court 6 (RTC) Branch 66 Judge Oscar Leo Billena in Barotac Viejo on Dec. 13, 2019.

No bail was set for his temporary freedom.

Anico said the suspect was already remitted to BJMP custody.

Tupas was involved in a shooting episode morning of Aug. 15, 2019 in Barotac Viejo. He was eventually charged for murder and attempted murder.

But the attempted murder charge was downgraded to attempted homicide. He eventually posted bail for the attempted homicide raps.

The suspect allegedly shot dead Ernesto Pescador, 49 of Barangay Vista Alegre, Barotac Viejo. He also poked his gun at Jay Unabia, the boyfriend of Pescador’s daughter.

Unabia is the principal witness against Tupas.

Police Major Ciriaco Esquilarga, Barotac Viejo police chief, said the suspect attacked the victims for no apparent reason or cause.

Tupas appeared to be drunk when the incident happened, Unabia said.

The witness added he was closing down their cafeteria while Pescador was waiting for him.

They then heard Tupas shouting. He then shot Pescador and poked a gun at Unabia before trying to escape.

But Esquilarga said they cornered the suspect and brought him to the police station. He yielded his personal pistol but its license had already expired.

The victim was taken to the town hospital but was referred to Western Visayas Medical Center where he died.

Pescador’s wife Josephine said there was no bad blood between her husband and the suspect. In fact, the two did not know each other prior to the shooting incident.

Senior Jail Officer 3 (SJO3) Leo Laserna of BJMP Region 6 said the suspect had been in the service for 10 years already.

But he was never promoted to the next higher rank.

Two years ago, he was also involved in a shooting incident in Banate town where the victim also died.

But he managed to amicably settle the case.