Barangay chairman, driver shot dead in Pampanga

Joann Manabat

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Barangay chairman, driver shot dead in Pampanga

VILLAGE CHIEF. Barangay San Pedro Chairman Mat Ryan dela Cruz was on his first term, winning in the barangay elections in 2023.

City of San Fernando Information Office

Barangay San Pedro Chairman Mat Ryan dela Cruz was on his first term. He was 37.

PAMPANGA, Philippines – A village chief and his driver were gunned down at a gas station in San Fernando, Pampanga, on Tuesday afternoon, June 11.

Barangay San Pedro Chairman Mat Ryan dela Cruz, and his driver, Henry Aquino, were shot dead while they were fueling up at the Power Fill Fuel gas station around 4:15 pm on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old Dela was only eight months into his first term as barangay chairman.

According to a police report citing a witness, the vehicle of the gunman pulled up behind the vehicle of Dela Cruz. The gunman then opened fire, leading to the deaths of Dela Cruz and Aquino.

Authorities promptly responded to the scene, where the Scene of the Crime Operatives confirmed the victims’ fatalities. The area was cordoned off, revealing fired cartridge cases for caliber .45 and 5.56mm. The suspects reportedly fled towards San Fernando proper.

Mayor Vilma Caluag, through its city information office, ordered authorities to conduct a thorough investigation for a swift resolution of the case.

Likewise, Governor Dennis Pineda also issued a statement on the death of Dela Cruz and gave instructions to the provincial police office to assist in the investigation 

“Nawalan po tayo ng masipag na lider at nawalan ang katuwang sa pagseserbisyo sa publiko. Binigyan ko po ng agarang instruction na tumulong ang Pampanga Provincial Police Office sa imbestigasyon ng San Fernando Police para mabigyan ng hustisya ang pagkamatay ni Kap Gazin at Mr. Aquino,” Pineda said in his statement.

(We have lost a hardworking leader and the Capitol has lost a partner in serving the public. I have given an immediate instruction that the Pampanga Provincial Police Office assist in the investigation of the San Fernando Police to bring justice to the death of Kap Gazin and Mr. Aquino.)

Local police are actively investigating the incident, seeking to identify and apprehend the perpetrators. The motive behind the attack remains unclear, and further inquiries are underway.

In 2022, two Pampanga village chiefs were killed months apart: Barangay Alasas Chairman Alvin Mendoza in April and Barangay Sto. Rosario Chairman Jesus Liang in December. –

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