CUSTOMS Deputy Commissioner Arturo Lachica of the Internal Administration Group (IAG) was killed in a daring ambush on Thursday night at the busy intersection of Espana Boulevard and Kundiman Street in Sampaloc, Manila.
Lachica, 58, was shot by a lone motorcycle-riding gunman. He sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was declared dead at the United Doctors Medical Center.
His driver/bodyguard identified as Romulo Delima survived the incident with slight injury.
Lachica was seated at the back of his car, a heavily tainted black Toyota Altis (ADC 1106), when shot by the assailant point blank around 6:50 p.m.
Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon condemned the killing and has appealed to authorities for a thorough probe to ferret out 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.
“Just yesterday, he was very active in our roadmap discussions,” he added.
The Customs chief has also instructed that the Philippine flag at the BOC be flown at half-mast to show respect for Lachica.
Lachica is a lawyer and certified public accountant who has been with the BoC for the past two years.
He was a member of the Career Executive Service Board (CESB) since 2006 before being detailed to BOC as deputy commissioner for IAG in July 2014.
In July 2015, Lachica was designated as Deputy Commissioner for Revenue Collection Monitoring Group, wherein he addressed various issues concerning the agency. He was active in filing cases against alleged smugglers and those involved in illegal and misdeclared importations.
On July 2016, Faeldon returned Lachica to his original post as IAG deputy commissioner. As IAG chief, he is in-charge of the bureau’s budget, procurement and personnel management.
Lachica also served as Regional Director for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and taught law at the Notre Dame University College of Law in Cotabato City.
Lachica, who would have turned 59 this month, is survived by his wife and two children.
According to Senior Insp. Rommel Anicete of the Manila Police District-Crimes Against Persons Investigation (MPD-CAPIS), the killer of Lachica is a hired killer.
Lachica was stuck in traffic when the suspect who wore a mask came from behind and walked in front of the passenger side of the vehicle and shot him.
According to Police Officer 3 Marlon San Pedro, an investigator at MPD-CAPIS, the suspect casually walked away from the scene after shooting Lachica.
According to MPD Chief Insp. Arsenio Riparip of the General Assignments and Investigation Section, they have created Special Task Group Kundiman to investigate the case.
Police recovered four cartridges from the crime scene.
They said the gun used in killing Lachica was a 45 cal. pistol.