4 men to be indicted for lawyer’s murder

·3 min read

THE Office of the Cebu City Prosecutor has recommended the filing of murder charges against four suspects in the killing of lawyer Joey Luis Wee.

They are John Raymond Cabantao Suarez, Randy Benito Palparan alias “Jake,” Manuelito Melia Camacho alias “Monching” and one John Doe.

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 Director Rennan Augustus Oliva told reporters that they received a copy of the resolution on the murder complaint filed by Wee’s wife, lawyer Marilevi Wee, against the four men on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.

In December 2020, the NBI 7 also filed cases against Suarez, Palparan, three John Does and Fausto Edgar Benigno Peralta.

The four-page resolution penned by Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Jennifer Karen Leyson stated that the four suspects will be indicted for murder.

The prosecutor’s office said a subpoena was sent by registered mail to their last known address. However, it has yet to receive their counter-affidavit.

The case was resolved based only on the evidence presented by Wee’s wife and her witnesses.

According to the resolution, Palparan demonstrated premeditation because not only did he arrange their accommodation and the handguns to be used in the murder, he also had the victim tailed.

Leyson said said even if it was only Peralta who fired the fatal shot, there is nothing from the record that shows the others 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.

NBI 7 Supervising Agent Arnel Pura said they will request Regional Operations Services Deputy Director Antonio Pagatpat to issue a warrant of arrest for the four men.

Once the four are arrested, they will face two cases in Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City, Oliva said.

Oliva said the Regional Trial Court in Lapu-Lapu City issued an arrest warrant against the same respondents on Friday, May 28, pertaining to the attempted ambush of lawyer James Gupana last Oct. 10 in Lapu-Lapu City.

The NBI 7 said it found similarities in both attacks in the course of its investigation.

Wee, 51, was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle on Nov. 23, 2020, while he was on his way to his law office in Barangay Kasambagan,

Cebu City.

The NBI 7 said it was able to track the vehicles of the killers through witnesses’ accounts and the security camera footage.

Wee’s wife also identified Peralta as the one who shot her husband.

Peralta was arrested by NBI agents in Laguna on Dec. 8, 2020.

Peralta also made an extrajudicial confession admitting that he was Wee’s gunman, that Suarez served as his back-up shooter, that Palparan tailed the victim’s vehicle, that the motorcycle used as a means of escape was facilitated by Camacho and that Col. Edwin Layese, a retired military officer, paid them to kill Wee. Layese was arrested on Jan. 13.

Oliva said Peralta and Layese’s cases are being heard jointly.

Oliva said the court entered a plea of not guilty for Peralta, while Layese entered a not guilty plea. (WBS)

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