Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Tacloban mayor orders hunt of lawyer's assailant

TACLOBAN CITY -- City Mayor Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez ordered the local police to hunt the assailants of lawyer Rogelio Bato, Jr., the legal counsel of embattled Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, Sr.

Bato, 48, and teenage companion, Angelika Bonita, 17 were gunned down on Tuesday afternoon in Lumbang 2 sub-village, this city while on board a Toyota Hilux pickup.

The victims suffered multiple gunshots when armed men riding a white pickup without plate number, opened fire at them using a .45 caliber and M-16 rifle.

Romualdez, who immediately proceeded to the crime scene, vowed to support the police in hunting the assailants. Police is still facing a blank wall on the motive of the killing.

“We are all outraged by this crime. The challenge posed by the criminals requires other responses, other weapons, and intelligence. There will be no impunity in this matter. No line of investigation will be discarded,” the lady mayor added.

Bato is the legal counsel of embattled Mayor Espinosa. He has provided legal services to the mayor's son, Kerwin, the region's alleged top drug lord.

Meanwhile, former Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) - Leyte chapter president Alberto Hidalgo has called more than a thousand lawyers in the region to wear black armband while in court until the day of Bato's burial.

It was not the first time that assailants in the region targeted lawyers in Eastern Visayas.

“We seek the cooperation of all law offices and courts to allow lawyers to mourn, show solidarity with the bereaved, and to show our total condemnation of this serious affront to our legal system, legal processes and law profession,” Hidalgo said.(PNA)

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