LOCAL police in Danao City now have four suspects considered “persons of interest” in the ambush-slay of lawyer Baby Maria Concepcion Landero-Ole.
Maj. Ma. Theresa Macatangay, Danao City police chief, said aside from the gunman and the driver of the getaway vehicle, two other people on board a white van accompanied the two suspects and served as “spotters.”
Macatangay said witnesses at the crime scene saw the white van speeding off after the two assailants gunned down Ole.
Ole was on her way to Liloan town after attending a hearing when she was gunned down in Barangay Looc, Danao City on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.
Macatangay believes Ole’s assailants who were riding a motorcycle tailed her from the courthouse in Danao City, while the two other suspects on board the white van acted as spotters to confirm that the lady lawyer was in her vehicle.
Danao City police were able to secure CCTV footage from houses near the crime scene. But the footage failed to show the registration and plate numbers of the assailants’ vehicles.
Police investigators were also able to recover Ole’s cellular phone and are starting to examine its contents to help solve the case.
Macatangay has requested the Police Regional Office Central Visayas (PRO 7) to create a special task group to investigate Ole’s murder.
Macatangay said as of now, they are focusing their probe on Ole’s work as a lawyer.
Decency and respect
Meanwhile, Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma expressed sadness over the recent killings of lawyers in Cebu and appealed for decency and respect for life.
“We have no right at all to take the law into our hands and to kill anybody whom we think may have done something wrong against us. We have the law, and we should respect the law,” Palma said in an interview on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020.
The prelate also extended his condolences to the bereaved families of the slain lawyers.
Aside from Ole, lawyer Joey Luis Wee was gunned down last Nov. 23 outside his law office in Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City. The two killings occurred just three weeks apart.
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Cebu City president Regal Oliva, in a statement, condemned the “atrocities” being committed against lawyers.
“We must not allow this system of violence to persist in our midst. We have been nothing but cooperative with all the investigations done by authorities and we will continue to take this high route,” Oliva said.
Oliva called on all members of the IBP to always be ready to protect themselves and be their own bodyguards. Oliva said lawyers must know the protocol on who to call or approach should danger arise.
“We need to spot ‘lurking shadows’ and report them immediately. We need reforms not only in the agencies of government, more so reforms in the IBP,” Oliva said.
‘Advocate of justice’
For its part, the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) Cebu chapter described Ole as an advocate of justice.
“Ole was among the tens of lawyers whose meaningful lives as advocates of justice were cut short by ruthless perpetrators, adding to over 50 members of the legal profession who were killed under the Duterte administration,” said lawyer King Anthony Perez, NUPL spokesperson in a statement.
Perez said Ole formerly served as counsel for ex-political detainee Eduardo Sacamay whose charges before the courts were eventually dismissed.
“While earlier reports stated that Atty. Landero-Ole is the widow of Juanito Flores-Ole, an alleged drug lord and ex-convict who was shot dead sometime in May 2020, the extrajudicial killing of the female lawyer based on such factual imputation is categorically unwarranted and uncalled for, other than blackening the memory of the deceased,” the group added. / AYB / JKV, WBS