ANOTHER lawyer, whom police identified as the widow of a suspected drug lord, was gunned down in broad daylight by unidentified assailants while driving her vehicle in Danao City on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.
Lawyer Baby Maria Concepcion Landero Ole, a resident of Sitio Camaglito, Barangay Taboc, Danao City, was declared dead on arrival upon reaching a public hospital in that city.
Maj. Maria Theresa Macatangay, Danao City police chief, told Superbalita Cebu that Ole was driving her white pick-up when upon reaching Barangay Looc at around 2:50 p.m., two motorcycle-riding men suddenly stopped beside her vehicle.
Witnesses told police that the backrider then pulled out a firearm of undetermined caliber and fired at Ole several times. The two assailants immediately fled the crime scene.
Macatangay said they are still investigating the motive behind Ole’s murder.
For now, police operatives are checking on houses near the crime scene in efforts to secure CCTV footage of the incident, if any.
Ole was the widow of Juanito Flores Ole, a drug lord in Danao City who was gunned down by unidentified assailants in Barangay Poblacion, Danao City last May.
Juanito had just been released from the New Bilibid Prisons in Metro Manila when he was killed.
‘Culture of impunity’
In a statement, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu condemned Ole’s killing as “not only an attack against the life of an officer of the court, but also an assault to the legal profession and to the rule of law.”
Lawyer Ria Lidia Espina, IBP Cebu president, said this latest violence adds to the list of “numerous unsolved cases of killings in Cebu perpetrated by assassins who remain unidentified.”
“The forging of a memorandum of understanding between the CPPO (Cebu Police Provincial Office) and the IBP Cebu has all the more become imperative and urgent to ensure the security and protection of lawyers who are vanguards of justice,” Espina added.
She also called upon those who witnessed the crime to cooperate in the investigation and share vital information for the fast resolution of the case and the eventual end to these “vicious acts.”
The slain lady lawyer was Espina’s classmate from the pioneering batch of the University of Cebu (UC) School of Law.
Espina said based on her knowledge, Ole handled land and family-related cases.
Lawyer Al-Shwaid Ismael, the current dean of the UC School of Law and also a classmate of Ole, said the entire UC Law community mourns the loss of an alumna of the law school.
“I am personally saddened by the sudden death of Atty. Baby Landero, my UC Law pioneer batchmate. Baby, as we fondly call her, was a humble, quiet, and bright lawyer. This culture of impunity should stop,” he said in a text message to SunStar Cebu.
Ole is the second lawyer to die in Cebu in less than a month.
Last Nov. 23, 2020, lawyer Joey Luis Wee was gunned down by unidentified assailants as he and his wife were about to enter their law office in Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested one of Wee’s alleged assailants, Fausto Edgar Peralta, in Cabuyao, Laguna last Dec. 8. Five other suspects remain at large.
Rule of law
Meanwhile, Espina said IBP Cebu is committed to help improve the legal knowledge and skills of police officers to adhere to the rule of law and respect the rights of citizens.
On the part of police, Espina said they can help enhance the knowledge and skills in security and personal safety of lawyers who do not wish to carry a gun.
“Basic knowledge about situational awareness and deflecting criminals can make a difference between safety and danger,” she said. / WBS