Special task group to investigate ambush of slain PCSO official

Published July 31, 2020, 3:30 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

Authorities will be forming a special investigation task group to dig deeper into the killing of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board secretary Wesley Barayuga.

Mandaluyong City Police chief Col. Hector Grijaldo Jr said on Friday (July 31) they will tap the help of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, the National Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies to further investigate the ambush.

On Thursday, a motorcycle-riding assailant fired upon the vehicle of Barayuga and driver Jojo Gunao along Calbayog Street corner Malinao Street in Barangay Highway Hills, Mandaluyong at around 3:30 p.m.

Security footage of the area showed that the gunman stopped at the passenger’s side of the victim’s vehicle and fired several shots at the vehicle’s windows.

Barayuga, who was in the front passenger’s seat, was killed on the spot, while his driver was shot in the body. Gunao is currently confined at a hospital.

Grijaldo said the victims had just left the PCSO Headquarters on Shaw Boulevard in a white Mitsubishi Strada, and were on their way home when they were ambushed by the lone gunman.

“We are waiting for the additional information coming from our informants. We will again backtrack the trail of the victims, as well as the suspect’s, to possibly identify him,” he told the Manila Bulletin.

According to the city police chief, Barayuga was a retired police general and a lawyer who worked at the PCSO after his retirement.

Grijaldo said the ambush might be work-related or due to a personal grudge.

He also noted that the shooting was “well planned.” He said they are also taking into account that there might be a group that ordered Barayuga’s killing using a gun-for-hire.

“We are investigating if the victim received threats prior to his death,” Grijaldo said.

Before the shooting, the police official said a light brown Honda Civic in front of the victim’s vehicle slowed down as it neared the intersection. 

Another motorcycle rider was also spotted near the victims’ vehicle. The motorcycle has no plate number, he noted.

After the shooting, he said the vehicles, including the gunman’s, sped away, adding that they have not received any report from the driver of the sedan.

Grijaldo said they will check the plate number of the sedan with the Land Transportation Office.

Read more: PCSO official shot dead by motorcycle-riding gunman in Mandaluyong