A barangay chairman was gunned down by unidentified armed men inside his backyard Monday evening in Malabon City.
Anthony “Tune” Velasquez, 41 was cleaning his backyard at No. 3 Florante St. Brgy. Hulong Duhat when two of the four suspects forcibly barged inside from the back gate of the compound at around 3:50 p.m. and shot him repeatedly in the body.
The four suspects immediately fled on board two single motorcycles while the victim was rushed by his family to MCU hospital where he succumbed to bullet wounds at around 5:05 p.m. while undergoing medical treatment.
A total of eight persons were killed by gun-wielding assailants in a span of two weeks in Malabon prompting Northern Police District Director (NPD) P/BGen. Eliseo Cruz to deploy additional 100 policemen to augment the existing more than 400 Malabon police force.
Two days earlier, a 39-year-old Sonny Boy Pardillo walking along P. Aquino St. in Tonsuya and a 34-year-old Valentino Espinosa just sleeping in his shanty in P. Concepcion in Tugatog was respectively shot dead by two unidentified gunmen.
Another two days before, Marlon Santiago was fired upon by two attackers leaving him dead in his home in Plata St., Tugatog on the afternoon of January 8, while a 37-year-old Ace Bade was murdered in a billiard joint also in Tonsuya, 9:55 p.m. of January 7.
Rodolfo Carpentero, 46, was also shot by unidentified criminals, point blank along Kagitingan St., in Bgy. Muzon, killing him on 4:40 p.m. of January 5.
Makie Burca, Coolee Toledo and Paulo Gozon were stabbed and shot in a brawl against Anthony Marquez and Mark Bernardo in Barangay Ibaba on New Year’s Day.
Yasser Ampuan, 21, a security guard of Prostegein Security Agency died of shotgun attack by his co-workers while in Bgy. Panghulo on December 27.
Prior to his death, Velasquez has been receiving threats due to anti-drug campaign he enforced, significantly minimizing illegal drugs-use in Barangay Hulong Duhat.
Shrouded with controversy, Velasquez was included in a “drug watch list” four years ago, which he and his family belied as maliciously motivated by rivals in politics.
Notwithstanding, he fully cooperated with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as Velasquez took active part in buy-bust operations, due which he unfortunately ‘stepped-over’ the Zapanta Group, an alleged drug ring headed by a former policeman dismissed for involvement in drug trafficking.
The Liga ng mga Barangay in Malabon led by ABC President Ejercito Aquino condemned the killing of Velasquez along with the crimes that went on the rise recently.
According to their unified statement, “no person deserves to be a victim of senseless killing” and thus urges the Philippine National Police to “thoroughly investigate so that justice may be served against the act.”
Mayor Antolin Oreta III expressed grief that the city lost a dedicated public servant and village leader in the person of Velasquez and saddened that such crime can happen at one’s very doorstep.
Oreta in turn called on Malabon police Chief Col. Angela Rejano to step-up intervention and heighten coordination with the local government unit in addressing these crime issues toward its speedy resolution.