CALINOG, Iloilo - A police officer and three others died in a stabbing incident near the town plaza in Calinog, Iloilo Saturday night.
Based on the initial investigation and accounts of witnesses, 44-year-old Fernandez, his wife, Nenita and friend Elmer Amorin were on their way home after a drinking spree in the plaza when the incident happened.
The three were riding a motorcycle driven by Fernandez when suddenly another motorcycle, driven by Ernie Ganancial, stopped beside them.
Ganancial tapped Fernandez's shoulder and said, "Kilala ta kaw do." (I know you.) After hearing this, Amorin alighted from the motorcycle, asking Ganancial: "To ano problema haw a?" (What's the problem.)
A commotion between the two groups ensued.
According to Nenita Fernandez, she was shocked when she saw Ganancial punch her husband. She sought help when alleged companions of Ganacial arrived and mobbed Fernandez and Amorin.
The mother of Ganancial, Nemia, also tried to pacify the group but was stabbed as well.
Meanwhile, SPO4 Nilo Campos, the deputy chief of Calinog Municipal Police Station, was also on his way home when he saw the commotion. He tried to stop the two groups but was also stabbed.
Fernandez, Campos and Nemia Ganancial were brought to the nearest hospital but was declared dead on arrival. Amorin was brought to Iloilo City but also died later on.
Ernie Ganancial and his 7 companions namely Chyris Cerbas, Van Castañaday, Albert Ganancial, Joven Celeste, Renato Casalmer, Ruben Celso and Ryan Sioco were arrested.
According to PSInsp. Kennith Bermejo, witnesses identified Ernie as the one who stabbed Fernandez.
Authorities believe it is possible that the two groups had a misunderstanding while they were drinking at the town plaza.
Ganancial denied his involvement in the incident, saying he was already at home when it happened. He also said he only learned about it when his brother went home and informed him.
He and his 7 companions will face murder charges.
Bermejo added that the incident should also serve as a lesson for the police not to be complacent in pacifying commotions.
Campos has been serving the police force for more than 10 years.