Olongapo City official shot dead

Randy Datu

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Benjamin Escolango II, deputy head of the city's register of deeds, was shot in the nape at about 11:30 am along Rizal Avenue, a national highway

OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines – An Olongapo official who deals with land titling was shot and killed Wednesday, August 7, along a busy street in this city.

Benjamin Escolango II, deputy head of the city’s register of deeds, was shot in the nape by an unidentified assailant at about 11:30 am along Rizal Avenue, a national highway.

Local police told Rappler that Escolango was on his way back to his vehicle, a red Mitsubishi Strada with plate number BEN 411, when he was shot by a lone gunman.

Witnesses told Rappler that Escolango immediately slumped to the ground as the assailant escaped on board a motorcycle. He was brought to the hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

The gunman, who boarded a TMX motorbike with an accomplice, headed in the direction of Olongapo city hall, where there was a lot of traffic.

Olongapo Mayor Rolen Paulino has not issued a statement on the killing yet.

Escolango is the deputy head of the city’s register of deeds. He had served as its OIC for a short time.

Unresolved killings

The killing of Escolango is the latest in recent unsolved murders in Olongapo.

Last July, Paul Salvatus, son of a local businessman,  was shot and killed in the village of Kalaklan.

In another incident, also in July,  brothers Jerwin Rey Kusumi, 31, a security guard, and Jeff Kusumi, 26, a student, were shot and wounded by unidentified gunmen as they were walking home.

Jerwin, who was shot in the head, underwent surgery and remains in serious condition at James Gordon Memorial Hospital here.

In May, Atty Ian Vela Cruz was shot and killed by gunmen riding in tandem in front of his house. Before his death, Vela Cruz handled the cases of  kidnapping and extortion cases filed against rogue local policemen by relatives of teen actor Jhake Vargas.

In all these cases, no suspects have been apprehended by the local police. Residents have been expressing on Facebook their anger and frustration about the series of murders in the city. – Rappler.com


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