Suspect still at-large

TACLOBAN CITY– Police authorities in Villaba, Leyte are still conducting their investigation on the killing of a lawyer on Tuesday(August 22) at about 4:30 pm.
Killed was Elmer Mape,52, who was visiting a farm owned by his father-in-law, former mayor Jorge Veloso, in sitio Patag of Barangay Calbugos, about 15 kms away from the town proper.

The local police said in its report that the victim was shot in his heart which resulted in his death with the suspect identified by some witnesses as alias Butchoy Oliverio.
The alleged suspect, said to be a former member of the New People’s Army, remains at-large, the police said.

The Villaba police said that while it could not pinpoint yet what could be the possible motive of the gunman, ‘several angles’ are being considered.

It, however, declined to say what are these motives being seen as the reason for the murder of Mape, who is from Cebu.

It also called on those who possibly knew the suspect to come out and help them which could lead to the arrest of the suspect.

Recovered from the crime scene were one empty shell of a Caliber 45 pistol, one slug of a Cal.45 pistol, and caliber 9mm pistol Glock 17, and one magazine of 9 mm loaded 15 ammunitions.

Lawyer Jay Viagedor, a friend of the victim, said that they were shocked on the ruthless killing of Mape who was only visiting the farm of his father-in-law.

The victim’s wife, Kathleen, herself a former municipal councilor of Villaba whose current mayor, Carlos Veloso, is a cousin of her father.

Viagedor said that they are calling the local police to hasten their investigation and arrest the alleged perpetrators.

“We are calling the police to conduct their investigation on the gruesome murder of (Mape). We hope that the real perpetrator will be arrested,” Viagedor said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

He said that they have some reservations on the real identity of the lone gunman considering that he was only identified as alias Butchoy, said to be a member of the NPA.
Asked what could be the motive for the killing of Mape, Viagedor said that they are seeing politics as a possible reason.

He said that Mape was known to be a critic of a former congressman in the district. Villaba is part of Leyte’s third congressional district.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Leyte chapter condemned the killing of Mape.
“IBP, as a group, strongly condemns the use of violence against lawyers and ordinary people. Also, the IBP as a local organization of lawyers, will ensure to protect the rights of its members while in the performance of their official/public duties,” it said.

It asked the police and other law enforcement offices to conduct a ‘thorough, proper, and holistic investigation so that the perpetrator will be swiftly and truly held accountable.’
The IBP-Leyte also issued its condolences to the family, relatives, and friends of Mape. (RONALD O.REYES/ROBERT DEJON)