WHAT was thought to be caused by a heart attack was actually a victim of shooting incident by unidentified gunmen after a lawyer dropped dead on Wednesday night outside the CitiMall in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
Senior Inspector Anjanette Tirador, Tagum City police spokesperson, said in an interview Thursday, March 14, the lawyer was identified as lawyer Rex Jasper Lopoz, 42, a resident of Purok 9, Poblacion, Nabunturan, Compostela Valley. He succumbed to a lone gunshot wound at the back of his body.
She said they received the report at 7:21 p.m. and the on duty personnel were dispatched to check the incident, however, the investigator was not able to recover pieces of evidence like fired cartridge pieces. People who were present only heard a gun fire.
“Ang pagtoo lang nila kay gi-atake sa heart ang victim pero pag-abot sa hospital, ni-declare ang attending physician nga naa siyay gunshot wound sa back portion sa iyahang lawas (They thought it was a heart attack because he fell immediately but when he was rushed to the hospital, the attending physician said that he has gunshot wound),” she added.
The police failed to recover the bullet since it’s in the victim’s body.
Investigation is still ongoing to determine the suspect of the shooting. Tirador said that the perpetrator must have been tailing the suspect until he/she found timing to carry out the plan.
They are now looking at two motives on the killing which might have something to do with his work as a defense lawyer or personal grudge. Despite these, they are not closing their doors for any other motive depending on the development of the case.
“Pwede siya related sa iyahang work kay attorney man siya, daghan man siyag ginagunitan nga kaso. In fact, daghan ni siyag ginagunitan nga kaso sa anti-illegal drugs as defense counsel (It may be related to his work as a lawyer and he is currently holding a lot of cases. He has cases related to anti-illegal drugs),” Tirador added.
It can be recalled that in 2017, lawyer Connie Villamor was gunned down by unknown riding-in-tandem assailants at Apokon National Highway while she was driving her sports utility vehicle (SUV) near the Tagum City National Comprehensive High School in Purok Gabayan 2, Visayan Village past 8 a.m.
Dyud Lopoz, on his post, demands for justice in the slain of his brother.
“It is with the deepest of grief that we inform you of the sudden, painful and violent demise of our brother, Atty. Rex Jasper ‘TATA’ Lopoz. He passed away last night, March 13, 2019. He may had flaws. He may had frailties. But he deserved, as we all do, DUE PROCESS. He never got any!” the Facebook post read.
Dyud said that his remains are now at his residence at Purok 9, Poblacion, Nabunturan.
Supreme Court Justice Lucas Bersamin expressed sympathy on the untimely death of the lawyer and further urged law enforcers to expedite the resolution of the case to attain justice for his death.
“That’s very tragic because no human lives should be wasted on that matter, especially if you are a lawyer, who is serving because of justice. I cannot say any until I know more details. But I condemn killing, all killings should be condemn. I join the clamor for investigation to identify the killer or killers for that matter,” Bersamin said, urging law enforcement agencies to eradicate criminalities especially gun for hire.