Cops eye 3 suspects in lawyer’s ambush

(Photo Courtesy of Sigma PNP)

By: Felipe V. Celino

ROXAS CITY, Capiz – Police said they have three suspects in the ambush of a human rights lawyer last September 2019.

Police Captain Christian Mahometano, Sigma police chief, said they already identified the three suspects based on the footage of the close circuit television camera (CCTV) installed at the barangay hall of Malapad Cogon in Sigma town.

Last month, a member of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) survived an ambush staged by motorcycle-riding suspects on Sept. 23, 2019 in Sigma, Capiz.

Human rights lawyer Criselda Azarcon, 49, of Barangay Bolo, Roxas City, just came from a court hearing in Dao town when the gun attack happened.

Azarcon was with her daughter, Angelica Katrina Heredia, 26, and her client, Jimmy Dordas, 55, a government employee and resident of Barangay Batabat, Maayon, when the incident happened.

Heredia was driving a white Toyota Fortuner with her mother on the front passenger seat and Dordas on the second row seat.

The two motorcycle-riding suspects shot them as they were navigating an access road at Barangay Malapad Cogon.

Mahometano said the suspects tailed the trio and saw an opportune time to attack them as they slowed down in a part of the road that was under repair.

The backrider alighted from the motorcycle, went to the right side of the vehicle, and opened fire.

The driver also shot the vehicle from his side.

“The bullets were aimed at the second row seat of the vehicle,” Mahometano said.

Luckily, Dordas was able to see the two suspects before they sprayed bullets on the vehicle.

He ducked and fired once while Heredia sped off going to Panit-an Police Station, the nearest station from the crime scene.

While there could be several angles on the case, it appeared that Dordas was the target, Mahometano said.

“All bullets were directed at him,” he said.

Police recovered nine empty ammunition shells.

Even Dordas admitted that there have been threats on his life since 2014.

But he did not discuss if it was due to the land dispute where Azarcon was his lawyer.

“He told us that he was very cautious of his security. But that time, they were talking about some documents that he wasn’t able to notice that a vehicle was tailing them,” Mahometano said.