Another lawyer slain in Tagum; family blames Duterte’s drug war
DAVAO CITY — Unidentified assailants shot dead a lawyer outside a shopping mall in Tagum City, Davao del Norte on Wednesday night, an attack blamed by the victim’s family on the government’s war on drugs.
Senior Insp. Anjanette Tirador, Tagum City police spokesperson, identified the victim as Rex Jasper Lopoz, 41, a resident of Nabunturan town, Compostela Valley.
Police said the victim was about to get into his car at the parking area of the City Mall shopping center along the Davao-Butuan highway in Visayan Village when assailants shot him at 7:21 p.m.
The victim collapsed, prompting his companion, identified as Danny Santos, to drive him to the nearest hospital.
Santos thought he had a heart attack but was declared dead upon arrival due to a bullet wound in the back, according to Chief Insp. Jason Baria, Southern Mindanao police regional spokesperson
A mall security guard allegedly heard a single gunshot and saw the victim fall, Baria said, adding responding police did not recover any bullet casings or other pieces of evidence at the scene.
An investigation on the incident was now underway, police said.
“Just an hour ago they killed my younger brother Atty. Rex Jasper Lopoz,”
Lopoz’s brother Arvin Dexter, also a lawyer, wrote on Facebook.
Dexter, a former provincial legislator in Compostela Valley, said his brother was a victim of the Duterte administration’s drug war.
“Yes, he was no saint. He had his failings,” the elder Lopoz said. “(But he was) killed in the Duterte Drug War. Summarily killed. Again by riding-in-tandem killers,” he added.
The bereaved brother also condemned those whom he called “EJK (extra-judicial killing) enablers.”
Last September, lawyer Connie Villamor was also ambushed by motorcycle-riding assailants as she was driving her car along a road in Visayan Village.
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