Rough Cuts | The irony of a barangay captain’s death

Last Sunday we visited the wake of a departed old friend of ours, the late outgoing Barangay Captain Reynaldo Dumagan of Talandang, Tugbok District, Davao City. Dumagan died of several bullet wounds after he was ambushed by still unidentified armed men on Maa-Magtuod Road roughly two kilometers from the C.P. Garcia diversion highway junction. His driver also died during the same incident.

There are loose talks as to why he was ambushed. But the most that we can say is that in his almost eleven years of service there was no attempt to do him harm. So it came to us as a sad surprise that he was killed at a time when he was leaving the office to give way to the newly elected barangay chief. Kapitan Dumagan already consumed his third term.

According to one of the companions of the barangay captain the attackers were on board a red pick-up which they noticed a little bit far behind. The Kapitan’s companion told us during the wake that no one from their vehicle might have given some thoughts on the tailing vehicle as they believed it was only normal that there are vehicles following another or ahead.

According to this fellow passenger of Kapitan Dumagan her group was overtaken by the pick-up not far from the barangay hall of Magtuod. The latter somehow signaled a turn, in effect blocking the small vehicle carrying the barangay captain.

Our informant said the pick-up appeared to be executing a backward movement since there was a gate on the vehicle’s rear.

However, our informant claimed that as the Kapitan’s multi-cab drew closer to the pick-up the window of the latter slowly opened and suddenly there were some kind of series of jolts on the village chief’s multi-cab.

Our source added that they noticed the pick-up suddenly roared towards the city proper. And when they asked their driver to move, the passengers at the back including the daughter of the barangay captain and her husband noticed that her father slowly slumped. When they opened the door on the multi-cab’s front seat passenger side it was then that they found out blood was already oozing from the body of Kapitan Dumagan and the driver.

According to our informant it took them sometime to get a passing vehicle to carry the bodies of the two victims to the hospital where they were declared dead on arrival.

What was ironic of the incident was that the barangay captain was bringing a patient to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) for dressing on the wound of a new operation. From the hospital Dumagan and his party were to proceed to the Davao International Airport to fetch the cadaver of the younger brother of his son-in-law. The latter was a student in Cebu who died from the hands of a hold-upper.

That was why we had the sad scenario of our life last Sunday. We ended up visiting two wakes in the house of Kapitan Dumagan; that of the outgoing barangay chief executive and that of the younger brother of his son-in-law. The latter was supposed to be transported to General Santos City where his parents’ residence is.

When we asked why the other dead was at the house of the slain barangay official we were told that they have to do it for convenience and to avoid bigger expenses for both families.
One other thing that transpired in that wake visit is our having personally confirmed how Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio gives premium on her people especially leaders of the barangays. Mayor Inday was there to visit Kapitan Dumagan’s wake. Her stay lasted for almost an hour. She talked with the immediate members of the Kapitan’s family, some kind of assurance that she is there to provide those left by the Kapitan of her moral, and without doubt, financial support especially in this time of their bereavement.

Her arrival was totally unannounced to the point that the Kapitan’s widow and his eldest daughter and incoming barangay Captain had to sort of scramble to find space and to appear a little bit spec. But the mayor was already there standing right in front of the Kapitan’s casket and that of the brother of his son-in-law.

How comforting it is to see such high local government official and daughter of the President of the Philippines visit wakes and comforting members of the departed’s family.

Posted in Opinion