Crime groups may have ordered Ungab Slay

By: Ador Vincent Mayol February 27,2018 - 05:40 PM


Judging by the manner the crime was executed, investigators believed an organized crime group carried out the task of killing lawyer Jonnah John Ungab.

Director Patricio Bernales of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) said it appeared in their probe that different individuals played separate roles to make sure Ungab won’t be able to return home alive.

He was referring to the two alleged “spotters” who spied on Ungab at the Cebu City Hall of Justice, the gunman, and the driver of the getaway motorcycle.

“The killing was done by an organized group,” he said in a media interview on Tuesday.

Bernales, however, was tight-lipped about updates of the case in order not to compromise the investigation.

Chief Supt. Robert Quenery, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), agreed with Bernales.

In a separate interview, Quenery said the killing of Ungab was well-planned and executed.

“This could be the handiwork of an organized crime syndicate,” he said.

Both the police and the NBI are conducting an investigation on the ambush-slay of Ungab.

Like the NBI, Quenery said the police, at the moment, have difficulties in identifying the culprits due to the unavailability of witnesses.

So far, the police found one bystander who claimed to have seen the actual shooting of Ungab.

However, the lone witness has been hesitant in executing an affidavit and making formal his statements due to fear that the killers might get back at him.

And even if he testifies, the witness could not give the identities of the assailant who was wearing a facemask when he shot Ungab twice.

“Sa ngayon, medyo mahirap. Wala pa kasing identities ang ating mga persons of interest at wala pa talagang witnesses. (For now, it’s a bit hard. We don’t have the identities of these persons of interest and we don’t have witnesses),” Quenery said in a separate interview.

He appealed to those who have knowledge about the crime to come forward and help the police and the NBI in identifying the persons who are behind the ambush-slay of Ungab.

“In the absence of witnesses, we cannot really progress. That is why we continue to appeal to well-meaning citizens, especially witnesses, to come out and help us in the investigation,” the region’s top police official said.

Photos of one of the “spotters” were released to the media last week, hoping to get information from the public about the identity of one they consider a “person of interest.”

The Cebu City police’s Task Force Ungab secured footages of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras that showed a man who came near the victim’s car and checked who was inside the vehicle, as well as its plate number as the lawyer fetched his wife Pearl at the lobby of the Cebu City Hall of Justice last February 19.

The “spotter” was seen talking to someone on his cellular phone shortly before Ungab’s car left the compound of the courthouse.

Incidentally, the gunman, who was seen standing outside the gate of the Cebu City Hall of Justice, also communicated with another person through his cellphone as Ungab’s car passed by before he casually walked by the vehicle and fired twice at the driver’s seat where Ungab was.

The police also found another possible “spotter” who seemed to be monitoring Ungab inside the Regional Trial Court Branch 23 where the lawyer’s client, self-confessed drug lord Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr, was found guilty of violating the 2010 election gun ban.

The second suspected “spotter” was captured on the cellular phone video that was randomly taken by Ungab’s wife Pearl a few hours before the victim was killed.

“The NBI and the police are helping hand in hand to solve this case. Unfortunately, things are not going our way for now. It’s just so hard to get witnesses,” Quenery said.

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TAGS: crime, groups, have, May, ordered, slay, Ungab
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