Candidate for barangay chairman, father shot dead in Samar

Jazmin Bonifacio
Christopher Branzuela, who is vying for village chairman in Barangay Catabunan, and his father were ambushed in the Oquendo district in Calbayog City, police records show


SAMAR, Philippines – A candidate for barangay chairman and his father were shot dead by unidentified men in Calbayog City weeks before the barangay elections.

Police records showed that the Christopher Branzuela, a candidate for barangay chairman in Barangay Catabunan; his father, Melanio; and another companion, Juanito Arneo were ambushed while on board a motorcycle on their way to Barangay Catabunan about 5:30 pm on Thursday, April 26.

The incident happened in Oquendo district in Calbayog.

The father and son suffered fatal gun shot wounds on different parts of their bodies, while  Arneo survived the attack.

The police have yet to identify the suspects and the motive for the killings, but similar incidents in the past were traced to private armed groups (PAGs).

PAGs in Samar have been accused of intimidating and killing the political opponents of their patrons in Barangays San Jose and Villahermosa, and other remote villages of the city. PAGs and their sponsors often escape prosecution. –