CEBU

Lawyer ‘killer’ silent during arraignment

FAUSTO Edgar Peralta, alleged triggerman of slain lawyer Joey Luis Wee, opted to be silent during the reading of the murder charge filed against him by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 during the virtual arraignment on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021.

Lawyer Wenceslao Galendez, one of the NBI 7 agents who handled the Wee case, said Peralta did not enter a plea during the arraignment, which led the court to enter a plea of not guilty for Peralta.

Galendez, however, doubted that Peralta, accompanied by his legal counsel, had other intentions of being silent during the proceedings, saying it could just be part of the strategy of Peralta’s party.

“For me, he has no bad intention because, as of present, he is still very cooperative. Even though we did not ask him, he still opened some minor details that he did not divulge during the extrajudicial confession. That would prove that he is really very cooperative and sincere in his plan to help himself in the case,” Galendez said.

Galendez said he saw the not guilty plea entered by the court for Peralta as a “good development” as the trial will still continue and the NBI 7 can present its evidence.

Waiting for resolution

The case against retired army official Edwin Layese, the alleged contractor of Wee’s assailants who was arrested last Jan. 13, has yet to be resolved by the city prosecutors.

Layese is not yet Peralta’s co-accused as his case is still with the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office. He has yet to submit his counter-affidavit.

Galendez said he is confident that Peralta will stick to his extrajudicial confession and that it can be used against Layese. He said a joint trial would be better for this case.

He said the first trial is scheduled in February.

Consolidation

Galendez is hoping that the cases of Peralta and Layese will be consolidated because these share the same evidence and facts.

Wee’s murder on Nov. 23, 2020 was initially linked to his job. Peralta and other suspects were charged with murder last Dec. 10.

Peralta named Layese as the one who organized Wee’s killing. (WBS)


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