Slain Valencia village dad: ‘Others first before self’

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/25 January)—“I love challenges … I love being the last one in the line.”

This was how Gino Antonio Zambrano, the slain 26-year old village councilor of Barangay Poblacion in Valencia City, described himself in his Facebook page.

Zambrano, an active youth leader of the local Catholic church who started as an altar boy and was former SangguniangKabataan chair of the barangay, added that he is “kind, loving, responsible, and above all good …good in looking after problems that are not mine.”

He was gunned down noon on January 22, Tuesday, near their residence.

In an interview with reporters, police investigators said they have yet to determine the motive for the killing of Zambrano, who was on his second term as barangay kagawad.

The slain barangay kagawad finished Bachelor of Laws at theBukidnon State University. He took the Bar examinations in October 2012.

Zambranowas driving home his multi cab vehicle from a committee hearing at the barangay hall when unidentified assailants shot him five times. He was hit in the head, chest, and back. The Laviña General Hospital declared him dead upon arrival.

He would be buried on January 27 at the Valencia City Public Cemetery.

Senator Ralph Recto, who admitted that Zambrano was his political aide in Northern Mindanao in the last elections, condemned the killing.

“I strongly condemn the senseless killing of a young man whose only fault was dedicating his life toward serving his community,” Recto said in a press release posted on the Senate website.

Zambrano was the chairman of the bids and awards, education, and ways and means committees of the barangay.

The BarangayPoblacion of Valencia City is Bukidnon’s biggest barangay in terms of population.

In 2008,  its population was 29,737-– almost as large as Baungon town and bigger than the number of residents in four Bukidnon towns.

The barangay, which was subjected to several attempts to be subdivided into smaller barangays, has more residents than the municipalities of Malitbog (21,948), Sumilao (21,720), Dangcagan (21, 254) and Damulog (21, 183), according to the 2007 Population Census. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)