CEBU CITY, Philippines – A lawyer was gunned down here in broad daylight on Monday, November 23, 2020, just six weeks after an almost similar incident also occurred to a fellow lawyer in Lapu-Lapu City.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines – Cebu City Chapter (IBP-Cebu City) confirmed on Monday afternoon that lawyer Joey Luis Wee died after he was ambushed in front of his office in Barangay Kasambagan.
Wee’s death came a month and two weeks after another lawyer, James Joseph Gupana, survived an ambush-slay attempt in the neighboring city of Lapu-Lapu on October 10.
“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 lawyers group also urged investigators to shed light and bring justice to Wee’s untimely death.
“The attempt to take any life will never be tolerated in a civilized society. The brazen attack on our brother in the legal profession is taken as an attack on the whole legal community,” said IBP-Cebu City.
“We call upon all concerned agencies of government to immediately address this case, and see to it that all perpetrators be brought to justice,” they added.
Wee was 51 years old.
Initial police reports from Mabolo Police Station showed that Wee was shot by still unidentified suspects while he was walking through the stairs of a building along J. Panis Street, Barangay Kasambagan where his office is located at around 1:30 p.m. on Monday.
“The building’s gate was open when he disembarked from his vehicle. As he was climbing up the stairs to his office on the second floor, two men rushed and one of them, the gunman, shot him twice,” said Police Major Dindo Alaras, chief of the Mabolo Police Station.
He was rushed to a nearby private hospital but a few hours later, physicians said he succumbed to his gunshot wounds.
High profile cases
Alaras said they are still determining the motive behind the killing of Wee as they continue to gather more information and accounts from witnesses who happened to be in the area when the crime happened.
“As far as we know, the two suspects fled the scene onboard a getaway motorcycle,” Alaras added in Cebuano.
The ambush that targeted Gupana last October 10, 2020, also involved riding-in-tandem suspects.
Based on local newspaper archives, Wee handled several high-profile cases here in Cebu.
These included being part of the defense counsel for the former officials from the Department of Public Works and Highways in Central Visayas (DPWH-7) who were recently convicted for corruption involving the controversial purchase of street lamps installed in the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue for the 2007 ASEAN Summit.
The Sandiganbayan ordered the arrest of three former DPWH-7 executives and a private individual from the company where the street lamps were bought.