4 men indicted for killing Cebuano lawyer
CEBU CITY –– Four men who took part in the murder of a lawyer in Cebu last November are now facing trial in court.
The Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office found sufficient basis to indict John Raymond Suarez, Randy Palparan, Manuelito Camacho, and an unidentified man for the killing of lawyer Joey Luis Wee.
The four, who remained at large, were implicated by Fausto Edgar Peralta, a confessed gunman, who had been charged in court after his arrest in December.
Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Jennifer Karen Leyson sent a notice to the four suspects to submit their counter-affidavits and refute the allegations against them.
But the handling prosecutor had not received any word from the suspects.
According to Leyson, the complaint was resolved based solely on the evidence presented by Wee’s wife and her witnesses.
Peralta, a former military officer, admitted to killing the lawyer after his arrest by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Cabuyao, Laguna last Dec. 8, 2020.
According to Peralta, Suarez served as his backup shooter while Palparan tailed the victim’s vehicle. Camacho, on the other hand, prepared the getaway motorcycle.
Peralta claimed that they were paid by Col. Edwin Layese, former director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Western Visayas, to kill Wee.
Layese was arrested on Jan. 13 and was charged in court.
Leyson said that while Peralta was the one who shot Wee, nothing in the records showed that the other suspects tried to prevent him from killing Wee.
“Indeed, respondents’ concerted, albeit separate actions, were uniformly orchestrated towards the accomplishment of a common criminal design,” she said.
Wee, 51, was shot by assailants while he walked from his car up to the stairs of his office in Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City last Nov. 23, 2020. His wife was spared.
NBI-Central Visayas Director Rennan Augustus Oliva said they received a copy of the prosecutor’s resolution regarding Wee’s murder on June 2.
Based on their investigation, Oliva said Layese was part of a gun-for-hire business and had a hand in the ambush of another lawyer in Lapu-Lapu City on Oct. 10, 2020.
James Gupana survived the attack with three bullet wounds.
“Accordingly, he and the other perpetrators in the slay of Attorney Wee would receive an amount of six-digit figures each if they successfully carry out the murder plot,” Oliva said.
While charges had been filed in court, Oliva said the investigation continued to identify the mastermind of the killing of Wee, which had something to do with a case the lawyer handled.
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