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BoC exec killed in ambush

A Bureau of Customs (BoC) official was killed while his driver was wounded in an ambush staged by a lone gunman in Sampaloc, Manila, at about 6:50 p.m. Thursday.

The BoC assured its full cooperation in the ambush-slaying of Commissioner for Internal Administration Group (IAG) Arturo Lachica, 58.

Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon condemned the killing and ordered a thorough probe to identify those responsible for Lachica’s death.

“I have instructed both our intelligence and enforcement units to assist and provide open and full support to investigating agencies,” Faeldon said.

Faeldon said he has already turned over to police investigators the necessary documents which they may find helpful in resolving the case.

He added that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is also working on the case.

Supt. Aquino Olivar, Sampaloc Police Station chief, Lachica was aboard a black Toyota Altis along with his bodyguard Ramon Hernandez, 53, and driver Romulo de Lima when the incident happened.

Olivar said that as the victim’s car stopped at red light on Espana Boulevard corner Kundiman Street when a motorcycle-riding gunman arrived and fired shots at the vehicle.

Lachica sustained two gunshot wounds in the chest and was declared dead on arrival at the United Doctors Medical Center in Quezon City.

His driver De Lima was injured when a fragment of the shattered car window grazed his back.

“I am optimistic that the truth, as well as the perpetrators of this heinous crime, will soon be exposed,” Faeldon said.

Faeldon revealed that hours before the ambush, Lachica attended a conference with him for four hours.

Lachica, he said, was the one handling the legal matters in the bureau and in charge of the employment dismissal of personnel.

Faeldon added that the bureau is puzzled over the killing of Lachica.

Hernandez claimed that Lachica was “unusually” awake and in a hurry during the drive home before the ambush happened.

The bodyguard told the investigator that Lachica was usually asleep on the way to Caloocan City home but not on Thursday night, which was filled with meetings in the office.

He said the gunman, which has a huge built, was wearing a jacket and a helmet when the attack happened.

According to PO3 Marlon San Pedro, case investigator, it appears that the killing had been very well planned because the suspect knew that Lachica was sitting in the front passenger seat of the tinted car.

Investigators said Lachica’s killing may have something to do with his position in the BoC.

Lachica was appointed deputy commissioner of AIG in 2014 after a 14-year-stint as deputy executive director for career executive service board. (ARGYLL CYRUS B. GEDUCOS • BETHEENA UNITE)