CEBU CITY—The lawyer of road rage shooting suspect David Lim Jr. has invoked self defense.
In a news conference on Tuesday morning, Orlando Salatandre Jr. claimed that his client was merely defending himself when he shot and wounded a nurse over a traffic altercation on Sunday dawn.
He said the video of the shooting that had gone viral since it was uploaded on Facebook was cut to make it appear that David Jr. was the aggressor.
“My client is very sober and calm. He is not the kind of person projected by some people,” he said.
He challenged the person who took the video of the road rage shooting to present the full video to show that Lim was merely defending himself.
The video was taken from a dash board video by another motorist who witnessed the incident.
Based on the footage, Lim was seen confronting Ephraim Nuñal before going back to his car to get his gun and shoot him thrice.
Lim and his girlfriend, Tamae Takahashi, then left on board his Mercedes Benz.
But Salatandre said it was not a complete story.
He claimed that Nuñal had two companions “bigger than the victim.”
“While my client was driving, two cars tailing him kept honking their horns, prompting my client to stop his car and confront the victim and his two companions. A brawl ensued,” he said.
Thinking that he might be overpowered by Nuñal’s two companions, Lim got a gun from his car, fired at the road to scare the victim and his two companions, Salatandre said.
“There was no intention to hurt the victim. But he kept on coming near David so my client was forced to shoot him on the legs to disable him,” said the veteran lawyer whose clients included Ruben Ecleo Jr., a cult leader who remained at large even after he was convicted by the court of killing his wife, Alona.
Salatandre appealed to the public not to judge Lim, nephew of Peter Lim, a Chinese-Filipino businessman who had met with President Duterte to deny that he was the same Peter Lim whom the President tagged as one of the biggest drug lords in the country.
“He must be presumed innocent for now. We should not be accusatory. Accusing is one. Proving is another. It’s too early to consider my client guilty,” he said.
Salatandre accompanied Lim who surrendered to Chief Supt. Noli Taliňo, police director in Central Visayas, in his office at Camp Sergio Osmeňa in Cebu City, about 2 a.m.
The lawyer defended the police in accusations that Lim was given special treatment because unlike other ordinary detainees, he stayed inside the office of Taliňo while waiting for the charges to be filed at him and then post bail.
“This is an example that (police) offices are open 24 hours a day. There’s no law that prohibits us from going to the police headquarters at 2 a.m. to take shelter,” he said.
“In fairness (sic) to the police, there is no special treatment provided to my client. Why, is there a massage inside the room where he is staying? And whether or not the room is air conditioned does not mean that there is a special treatment,” he added.
Asked why it took a while for Lim to surrender, Salatandre said the family was looking for someone to ensure the safety of his client.
“And they found (Secretary) Bong Go (special assistant to the President). I have no idea how they did it,” he said.
Did his client go into on hiding after the road rage incident?
“I don’t know. Of course, we can’t see him if he’s hiding,” replied Salatandre, smiling.