Ilocos law school dean wounded in gun attack

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BATAC CITY, Philippines—The dean of the College of Law of the Mariano Marcos State University was declared in stable condition after he was shot by two men on Thursday night on the school’s parking lot here, police said.

Investigators said lawyer Ramon Leaño, also the university’s vice president for administration and corporate affairs, had just finished his class at 6:45 p.m. and was about to board his car when the gunmen attacked him.

He was hit in the belly and was taken to the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center here where doctors declared him out of danger.

Police arrested two suspects in Pinili town after the shooting.

Senior Police Officer 3 Dennis Juan, chief investigator of the Batac police, said Jomar Quezada, 24, and Reynaldo Pagatpatan, 32, both of Nueva Era town, were arrested at a checkpoint in Pinili, 14 kilometers from this city.

“The suspects were earlier seen waiting in an eatery across the campus. Witnesses were able to identify them because they were not wearing ski masks,” Juan said.

Seized from Quezada and Pagatpatan was Leaño’s bag containing documents and identification cards.

The police have yet to establish the motive for the attack. Leaño has not been actively engaged in private practice but he represents the university in court cases.

The attack on Leaño was the fifth incident involving lawyers in the province.

Of the five incidents, four lawyers, two of them judges, were murdered in a span of 12 years beginning 2001 with the murder of Judge Ariston Rubio, then presiding judge of Branch 17 of the Batac Regional Trial Court.

The other killings involved those of Judge Fredelito Pingao also of Batac RTC in 2011, lawyer Eddie Gregorio in 2009 and former Laoag legal officer Antonio Pastor in 2007. These cases remain unsolved.

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