BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – A member of the elite Scout Rangers who fought in the series of battles in Carabalan village died today, 16 November 2022, in a gunfight here triggered by a group of “thugs” who were turned away from the drinking spot that was about to close for the day.
Police Major Joery Puerto told DNX Ulyssis (as spelled in the blotter) Carampatana, a bank accountant, came to the To Lips bar along Lacson Extension around 1:30am where the fatality, Edmark Iwayan, was drinking with fellow soldier Joebert Villagracia.
Puerto, citing results of the initial probe by Station 8 prober, Corporal June Perez, said Carampatana was with a group of “thugs” from Taculing village whom he appeared to lead, and demanded from the bar owner, former soldier Joebert Visem, that they be served beer.
Visem, however, refused, saying they were closing for the day.
This triggered an argument that led to Carampatana’s drawing of his firearm and the gunfight that led to the death of Iwayan who was hit by the shots of Carampatana and the mauling of Villagracia who was pinned down and mauled by at least 10 men.
The two soldiers and Visem were classmates in Scout Ranger training and had a reunion of sorts at the bar after Villagracia and Iwayan got their bonus pays, Puerto said.
He added only Iwayan was armed with a 45 caliber pistol, his service sidearm.
Police found 11 9mm spent shells and five 45 cal cartridges and Iwayan’s gun but that of Carampatana was not found.
Iwayan and Villagracia are from the Army 3rd Division’s Ready Deployment Force sent to support 94th Battalion troopers in the series of gunfights in Carabalan, Himamaylan City that led to the death of top rebel commander Romeo Nanta alias Juanito Magbanua.
Scout Rangers are among the elite units of the Philippine military under the Special Operations Command.