Barangay chairman in Malabon shot dead

Published January 12, 2021, 2:13 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

A barangay chairman in Malabon City was shot dead by unidentified assailants right inside his own backyard in the city on Monday afternoon.

(Malabon LGU)

Police identified the fatality as 41-year-old Anthony Velasquez, head of Barangay Hulong Duhat.

Investigation conducted by Malabon police disclosed that the incident happened around 3:50 p.m. when Velasquez “was busy cleaning on [sic] his backyard.”

Police said two gunmen “barged” the gate of Velasquez before firing shots at him when they saw him. The assailants then walked toward their two cohorts aboard two motorcycles, who were waiting for them, and escaped.

Velasquez was rushed to a hospital in Caloocan City but was declared dead on arrival.

Eleven fired cartridge cases were recovered from the crime scene.

In a statement released by city public information office head Bong Padua, it said that Velasquez used to receive “death threats due to anti-drug campaign he enforced, significantly minimizing illegal drugs-use in Barangay Hulong Duhat.”

The statement added that the chairman was “shrouded with controversy” after he was included in a ‘drug watch list’ four years ago.” However, he and his family “belied” the allegation, saying it was “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,” the statement read, adding that his cooperation led him to “unfortunately ‘stepped-over’ the Zapanta Group, an alleged drug ring headed by a former policeman dismissed for involvement in  drug trafficking.”

The local government of Malabon has condemned the killing of Velasquez and said the incident “not only [struck] fear and anxiety to all Malabonians, but also put Malabon City in a bad light.”

“With the recent death of Hulong Duhat Barangay Captain Anthony ‘Tune’ Velasquez, there is no justification for the aggression the victims all faced, or for the damage and pain it caused their families,” it said in a statement.

As the local government “urged and demanded the Philippine National Police to implement the full force of the law to capture the perpetrators behind this utterly unacceptable act,” City Police chief Col. Angela Rejano on Tuesday said the Northern Police District has already formed a task group to investigate the killing of Velasquez.

“This dastardly act should be meted out with the punishment it deserves,” the local government said.