Lack of witness, CCTVs hurts search for lawyer
CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga—The search for a Bataan-based lawyer, who went missing on June 20, has been difficult because no eyewitness has surfaced and security cameras at the gates of Subic Bay Freeport, where he was last seen, are not working, police said.
Security officers of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) do not record the license plates of all vehicles entering and leaving the free port, according to Senior Supt. Rudy Lacadin, director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Central Luzon, on Monday.
“We haven’t reached a breakthrough [in the search] but our coordination with the family is on a continuing basis,” Lacadin said when asked for updates on efforts to find lawyer Joe Frank Zuñiga.
Five other gates, including those on Tipo and Morong, Bataan and Kalaklan in Olongapo City, need CCTV cameras, said Orlando Maddela, chief of the SBMA law enforcement department (LED).
Maddela said initial investigation by SBMA LED officers showed that the lawyer’s car entered the Magsaysay gate and left the free port, through the Tipo gate, on June 19.
There are no records, however, of the entry and exit of Zuñiga’s car on June 20, although executives of Ocean Adventure, his client at the free port, reported seeing him that morning.
Zuñiga’s car, found parked on a dike 2 kilometers from the Zambales-Pangasinan road, does not bear any sign of forced entry, Lacadin said.
He said investigators did not find bloodstains in the car.
The Commission on Human Rights has sent a team to Central Luzon to document the case and recommend an investigation upon the request of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon