BY CALVIN CORDOVA
CEBU CITY – A 51-year-old lawyer who handled several high-profile cases in the city was shot dead in broad daylight by two motorcycle-riding gunmen as he was about to enter his office in Barangay Kasambagan here on Monday afternoon.
Police were still looking into the motive behind the murder of Joey Luis Wee.
Wee reportedly defended former officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways involved in the purchase of 1,800 lampposts in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu in 2007.
Prior to that, he also defended agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas, who were involved in the strafing of a van carrying off-duty resort employees in 2002.
The attack happened in broad daylight and while police checkpoints were set up several areas in the city as part of the measures to control the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“The gunmen were really daring because they followed the victim to his office. The attack was done in about a minute,” said Police Col. Josefino Ligan, chief of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).
According to the investigation, it was past 1 p.m. when the lawyer arrived in the parking area of a building where he held office.
The lawyer headed toward the stairs leading to his office with a woman walking behind him, police said. Two men, who wore jackets and bonnets, were then seen running toward the lawyer. One of the gunmen repeatedly shot the lawyer. The other gunman poked his gun at the woman but didn’t pull the trigger.
The assailants escaped aboard a motorcycle, police said.
The lawyer was rushed to a private hospital where he later died.
“There were footage of security cameras in the areas but we still have to enhance it,” said Ligan.
Investigators were in the process of talking to the victim’s family to possibly determine of the attack.
“He was known to be a good lawyer. He handled high-profile cases that’s why we will talk to the family and to his employees so we can have leads. We will also check if he had death threats before he was killed,” added Ligan.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Cebu City condemned the attack and called for a speedy resolution of the case.
“IBP-Cebu City condemns to the highest degree the shooting of Atty. Joey Luis Wee outside his law office in Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City,” IBP-Cebu City said in a statement.
“The attempt to take any life will never be tolerated in a civilized society. The brazen attack to our brother in the legal profession is taken as an attack to the whole legal community. We call upon all concerned agencies of government to immediately address this case, and see to it that all perpetrators be brought to justice,” the group added.