THE Office of Cebu City Prosecutor upheld the recommendation of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 to file murder charges against Ret. Col. Edwin Layese for his alleged participation as the mastermind and/or contractor of the shooting incident that killed lawyer Joey Luis Wee.
Lawyer Rennan Augustus Oliva, NBI 7 director, said they received a copy of the case information dated Jan. 29, 2021, on Monday afternoon, Feb. 1.
He said this is a "very good" development and said even the petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Layese's counsel was denied by the court. Writ of Habeas Corpus is used to bring a detainee before the court to determine if his detention is lawful.
The Office of the City Prosecutor maintained that Layese, "with deliberate intent, with intent to kill, with treachery, and evident premeditation, conniving, confederating and mutually helping" other accused "did then and there act as the mastermind and/or contractor in the attack upon one Atty. Joey Luis Wee."
The Office of the City Prosecutor also said Layese's case is not bailable based on the 2018 Bail Bond Guide.
Oliva said Layese, a former director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Western Visayas and a former member of the Philippine Army, was transferred from NBI 7 to the Cebu City Jail in Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City on Jan. 27.
Layese was arrested by NBI 7 agents in Cebu City on Jan. 13, 2021.
Aside from footage showing Layese at the crime scene, Wee's alleged gunman, Fausto Edgar Peralta, who is now in the custody of the authorities, also named Layese as the one who ordered the shooting of Wee.
The NBI 7 said that, as of now, there is no update yet from the court whether Peralta will be admitted to the Witness Protection Program.
Peralta earlier issued an extra-judicial confession with the assistance of two lawyers from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu City Chapter.
He admitted shooting Wee twice in November last year along J. Panis St., in Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City.
Peralta also identified an individual named John Raymond Suarez as his back-up and the one who contacted him. An individual named Randy Palparan was Suarez's contact while Layese was Palparan's direct contact. (WBS)