CEBU City Police Office (CCPO) Director Gemma Vinluan said it would be difficult for her personnel to conduct an inquiry on the murder attempt of lawyer Inocencio de la Cerna Jr. if he would not cooperate.
“It would be hard for the PNP (Philippine National Police) to solve incidents without the cooperation of the affected individuals or families,” she said.
In a separate interview, de la Cerna denied he did not approach the police after he was ambushed on Monday, Sept. 2, 2019 outside the compound of Qimonda building, which houses the courts in Cebu City.
After the motorcycle-riding gunmen failed to kill him, de la Cerna drove to Waterfront Police Station. He was later escorted by the police to the Mabolo Police Station, which has the jurisdiction over the incident.
“On that fateful day, I already gave my statement to the Mabolo police investigator. But he could not get the whole story. So, he requested me to make an affidavit of what transpired. I am making it now,” de la Cerna said.
The lawyer of high-profile cases said he already coordinated with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7 and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7.
De la Cerna said the personnel of CIDG 7 and Highway Patrol Group 7 arrived first at the Waterfront Police Station.
Members of the Scene of the Crime Operation had inspected de la Cerna’s vehicle—a Toyota Land Cruiser. They found nine holes caused by a .45 pistol’s bullets.
The CCPO investigators are looking at de la Cerna’s job as counsel of Derwin Wong, the son-in-law of Cebuano mall tycoon Edmund “Eddie” Gaisano Sr. Wong is an accused in a multibillion-peso syndicated estafa case filed by Gaisano’s daughter over the alleged unauthorized trading of shares of stock.
Syndicated estafa is a non-bailable offense. However, Regional Trial Court Branch 9 Judge James Stewart Ramon Himalaloan released his decision last July 18 granting Wong’s petition to post bail. The bail was set at P800,000.
The prosecution, led by lawyer Edgar Gica, filed a motion asking the court to reconsider its decision to allow Wong to post bail.
Gica’s team also filed a motion asking Himalaloan to inhibit, and the latter granted it. The estafa case will be reshuffled to a new court on Sept. 12.
Wong has nine alleged accomplices, who are still at large.
The other motives that the CCPO investigators are looking into are the cases on land disputes and illegal drugs handled by de la Cerna.
Vinluan said de la Cerna had given investigators two possible reasons behind the attack, but he did not divulge names. De la Cerna also did not mention illegal drug cases.
The police official deployed her personnel to secure the area of the lawyer’s residence.
De la Cerna owns three firearms, and the licenses are already expired.
Vinluan said the CCPO would not confiscate de la Cerna’s firearms, and the lawyer would be given enough time to renew the licenses. (FROM AYB OF SUPERBALITA CEBU / WBS / KAL)