Youth leader gunned down in Laguna

A youth leader was shot dead in front of his family in Lumban, Laguna, on Tuesday, April 13. 

Police said an unknown assailant, who wore a bonnet, barged into the house of Lumban Sangguniang Kabataan president Renzo Matienzo late Tuesday afternoon, and shot him.

The 26-year-old Matienzo sustained 10 gunshot wounds and died on the spot.

Matienzo's family said the suspect ordered them, including the victim's 4-year-old son, to lie face down as he shot Matienzo. The suspect also told them that Matienzo was his only target. 

Police Staff Sergeant George Maramag said the suspect used a .45 caliber gun. Investigation into the case is ongoing, according to Lumban police. 

Motives

In an interview with Rappler, Matienzo's relative, *Jason (not his real name), expressed concern for the family, especially Matienzo's young son as he was in the same room where his father was killed.

Jason said Matienzo had a clean record and was not involved in any conflict, but they’re wondering if the incident is linked to politics as Matienzo planned to run as a town councilor.

Jason said Matienzo loved public service. “Talagang itong politics 'yung hilig [niya]. Matulungin talaga.... Napakaraming nagdadalamhati sa pagkamatay niya, talagang maraming natulungan (He’s really interested in politics. He's really helpful.... Many are mourning his death because he helped so many people)."

To those behind the killing, Jason said: “Ipagpapasa-Diyos ko na lang sana na makonsensya sila. Pinapakain nila sa pamilya nila, galing sa pagpatay (I'm leaving it to God, that their conscience would bother them. They feed their families by killing people),” Jason said. 

Matienzo is the latest elective official to be killed amid what Duterte administration critics called a "culture of impunity plaguing the country" under the watch of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The country has also been plagued by senseless killings, as exemplified by the killing of a mother and son by a policeman in Tarlac in December 2020, over an argument about an improvised bamboo canon used on New Year's Eve.

On March 8, Calbayog City Mayor Ronaldo Aquino and his two bodyguards were killed in an ambush. – Rappler.com

*Name asked to be withheld for privacy