Leader of Ecija quarry operators gunned down

By Ariel P. Avendaño

Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija — A leader of quarry operators in this province, who is also an active supporter of local media, was gunned down before midnight last Saturday in this city by armed men riding-in-tandem on a motorcycle.

Superintendent Ponciano P. Zafra, city police chief, identified the victim as Manuel Gabriel Lacsamana, 52, married, and chairman of the quarry operators of the province.

Investigation showed that Lacsamana was driving his red Mitsubishi Strada pick-up in the north direction along Mabini Street, Barangay Mabini Extension, this city, when the motorcycle-riding assailants drove beside his vehicle.

Suddenly, the backrider opened fire at Lacsamana. The victim stained two fatal bullet wounds in the lower left side of the face and declared dead-on-arrival at the Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center, Zafra said.

The Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) team collected at least nine bullet casings of a .45-caliber gun at the crime scene.

Lacsamana, who used to be a volunteer reporter for the Manila-based radio station DZRH, is no stranger to local media.

Having been successful in his quarrying business, Lacsamana had initiated livelihood programs for community-based media practitioners to uplift their lives.

Just a week before he was killed, Lacsamana told this reporter: “I can feel the difficulty and sacrifices in the beat of local media, that’s why I want to uplift their lives through our livelihood and housing projects.”