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Police probe shooting of MMSU law school dean

By Leilanie Adriano, VERA Files

BATAC CITY— Police are now trying to establish the motive behind the shooting of a law school dean Thursday night, following the arrest of two suspects.

Now in police custody are Reynaldo Pagatpatan and Jomar Quisada, who were arrested minutes after Ramon Leaño, dean of the College of Law of the Mariano Marcos State University here, was shot at close range at 6:40 p.m.

MMSU (Leilanie Adriano)

Witnesses said they saw a lone gunman fire several times at Leaño, who was then walking towards his parked vehicle inside the school compound. Witnesses described the gunman as wearing a hat. He fled with a companion on a motorcycle.

Minutes later, police apprehended Pagatpatan, a member of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) and Quisada as they were on their way to in Pinili town, south of Batac. Police said both suspects are from Ugis, Nueva Era town.

The police have also questioned guards on duty. One guard named Jimmy Bautista was believed to be exchanging text messages with one of the suspects before the incident, the police said.Recovered from the suspects were two cellular phones, a .45 caliber pistol, a shotgun, and a bag owned by the victim.Police were able to recover at least four empty shells of a .45 caliber pistol at the crime scene.

The 59-year-old Leaño, a resident of San Nicolas town, suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was rushed to the nearby Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center. Doctors said his condition is improving.

In 2009, Leaño was named one of the most outstanding San Nicolenos, embodying the qualifications and character of a member of the Philippine Bar.He obtained his law degree from San Beda College in Manila and was admitted to Philippine Bar on May 9, 1980.

He earned his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1992 and, in 2005, was invited by MMSU President Miriam Pascua to join the university.

He is presently the university’s vice president for administration and corporate affairs, and is also a consultant of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte as well as other politicians on legal matters.

Since 2001, five lawyers and judges from Ilocos Norte have been killed. The killings of Judges Ariston Rubio in 2001and Fredelito Pingao in 2011 as well as the murder or lawyers Patrocinio Aurelio in 2003, Jose “Pepoc” Pastor in 2008 and Eddie Gregorio in 2009 remain unsolved.

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”)

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