Suspect in killing of Cebu lawyer wants to turn state witness

By: Pegeen Maisie M. Sararaña January 19,2021 - 09:28 PM

Fausto Edgar Benigno Peralta, a resigned military officer and a security supervisor for a warehouse rented by an online shopping firm in Cabuyao, Laguna, was the gunman behind the killing of lawyer Joey Luis Wee last November 23, the NBI-7 said. | CDN Digital Photo by Morexette Marie Erram

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Fausto Edgar Benigno Peralta, the confessed triggerman in the murder of Cebu lawyer Joey Luis Wee, has expressed his desire to turn state witness.

Peralta was arrested in Laguna last December 8, 2020, by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents or 15 days after Wee was gunned down in broad daylight on November 23, 2020, in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City.

Lawyer Renan Augustus Oliva, director of NBI-7, told reporters on Tuesday, January 19, that Peralta willingly cooperated in their investigations and even executed an extrajudicial confession in the hope of being considered a state witness.

Oliva, however, said that the NBI cannot decide on Peralta’s request to become a state witness as it is up to the courts to render judgment on the matter based on the substance and importance of his statement to the case.

Peralta’s extrajudicial confession covers detailed information about the planning including the receiving of the balance of payment. Peralta mentioned 6 digits was the amount involved to kill Wee. Peralta’s confession also helped investigators arrest Lt. Colonel Edwin Layese allegedly the main contractor of Wee’s murder.

Oliva added that although Peralta’s statements greatly helped in their investigation, those are not the main evidence. He said that the investigators have documentary and testimonial evidence, closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage, and others that can stand and are strong enough to lead the case.

Wee was gunned down in broad daylight in front of his office on November 23, 2020. Investigators initially stated that up to eight suspects are involved in the brazen killing.

When asked about the possible mastermind of the crime, Oliva said that they already have leads but refused to divulge details saying it is still premature and might compromise their investigation. /rcg

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TAGS: murder case, National Bureau of Investigation

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