Clark, Pampanga—A bigtime-gambling operator is being eyed as the possible mastermind behind the ambush-slaying of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office corporate lawyer Wesley Barayuga last Thursday.
A top-notch military intelligence-investigator who is helping government probers crack the case said the hitman was a professional hired-killer “who finished the job in less than 10 seconds.”
Barayuga assumed his post as corporate secretary of PCSO on January 24, 2018, and since then, had been instrumental in cleansing the roster of small-town lottery operators which replaced the illegal numbers game of jueteng in Central Luzon and masiao in the Visayas.
Hours after the ambush, Barayuga’s office was sealed and cordoned off to enable probers from the Mandaluyong Police and National Bureau of Investigation to retrieve and have access to intact documents.
An unimpeachable source from the Department of the Interior and Local Government also said, the contents and transcripts of Barayuga’s cellphone will be available today, Aug. 3, to help in the multi-faceted investigation of the case.
This developed as relatives of Barayuga described as grossly irresponsible the accusation of a ranking Metro Manila police general that the victim had a shady past and links with illegal drugs.
Barayuga, a member of the Philippine Military Academy ‘Matikas Class’ of 1983, retired as a police general in October 31, 2014 as chief of the Directorate of Logistics at Camp Crame, Quezon City. He finished his law degree in 1996 at the University of San Agustin in Iloilo City where most of his tour of duty as a junior officer were spent.
Barayuga’s PMA classmates who paid respect and gave eulogies last Sunday at Fort Bonifacio said their ‘mistah’ was a humble man of honor who takes pleasure in availing even of the most modest ways of living.
‘He takes public transportation regularly (before the pandemic); had very simple living quarters and work space; and he is known for his very humble demeanor. These were the things that the eye can see, and are all tell tales of a man of integrity,” the class statement said.
“We share the deep pain we feel with his loss… a loss that we cannot take without seeking justice and rectifications in the utmost possible ways our class can offer. We encourage everyone who are in the know of any possible leads to come forward. PMA ‘Matikas Class 83’ is confident that he was a good man and that he died with his boots on, working for what’s best for the Office he served and his country,” the statement read.
Barayuga was on his way home from his office at Shaw Boulevard when he was shot four times by a gunman aboard a motorbike at the corner of Calbayog and Malinaw Streets in Barangay Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City while traffic was at a standstill.