Work-related angle checked as probe on lawyer’s attack starts
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Police have launched an investigation following an ambush on Monday, September 2, outside the Qimonda IT Center that wounded a veteran lawyer.
Police Staff Sergeant Mark Daclan, Mabolo Police Station investigator, said they are looking into the angle that the attack on lawyer Inocencio Dela Cerna at 9:15 a.m. on Monday, September 2, may be related to his work which involves handling several controversial cases.
Read more: Lawyer survives ambush outside Cebu City Hall of Justice
Dela Cerna is currently one of the defense lawyers of the kidnapping case involving former Bohol Board Member Niño Rey Boniel, who is facing a case for the disappearance and alleged murder of his wife, former Bien Unido mayor Gisela Bendong-Boniel.
Dela Cerna was also one of the lawyers of the late Ricardo Ramirez, former mayor of Medellin town, who was murdered inside his hospital room in June this year.
Ramirez was arrested in 2017 for illegal possession of firearms after police raided his house and discovered several high-powered firearms.
Dela Cerna was no longer Ramirez’ lawyer when the former mayor was killed inside his hospital room.
Daclan said Dela Cerna was traumatized by his near-death experience that he asked a relative to relay the message that he cannot recall or remember anyone who would want him dead.
Read more: Who is Inocencio Dela Cerna?
To ensure Dela Cerna’s safety, a mobile patrol has been assigned at his house.
Daclan said the police will provide Dela Cerna with security escort should the lawyer requests for it.
Daclan said they are gathering more evidence that could help them identify the assailant.
Read more: IBP-Cebu condemns Dela Cerna attack, urges police to get perpetrators
Daclan said that they were able to secure a closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage from the Cebu City Hall of Justice.
But the footage is only from the lobby because the camera facing the gate was not functioning.
Read more: IBP Cebu City to police: Protect our lawyers
As of 8 p.m. on Monday, September 2, Daclan said they are still looking for establishments along S. Osmeña Street which could have captured the attack or the suspect when he shot Dela Cerna.
“Di man gud maklaro ang sa hall of justice nga camera (The footage from the hall of justice was blurry),” said Daclan.
Read more: Hadjirasul tells police: Secure the Cebu City Hall of Justice
In an earlier interview, the security guard of the Hall of Justice said he saw the assailant approach Dela Cerna’s vehicle and fired three times.
The guard said the suspect wore face mask, a pair of sunglasses and a full-face helmet.
Daclan said the security personnel at the Hall of Justice were about to respond when the gunman fired at them as he jumped on a waiting motorcycle driven by his cohort, who was also wearing a mask, pair of sunglasses and a full face helmet./dbs
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