Ambushed Cebu lawyer urged to name suspects

CEBU CITY � The top police official here on Wednesday urged lawyer Inocencio dela Cerna to cooperate with authorities to hasten investigation by the local police regarding the ambush last Monday.

Col. Gemma Vinluan, chief of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said two days have passed since dela Cerna was waylaid by unidentified gunmen but he has yet to talk to the police probers.

Dela Cerna's vehicle was shot at by unidentified gunmen while speeding along the Port Service Road near the IT Qimonda Center, where he attended a court hearing at the Cebu City Palace of Justice.

Hindi siya nakipag-cooperate. Maaring normal na i-safe nya muna ang sarili nya pero magbigay siya ng pangalan sa amin (He is not cooperating. Maybe, he wants to stay safebut he better gives us names), Vinluan said in a radio interview.

She said the case would be difficult to solve if the lawyer would fail to give them the names of persons who he suspects to be knowledgeable of the ambush attempt that wounded him.

Meanwhile, Vinluan said she is not against the move to arm lawyers provided they only carry licensed firearms.

She noted that dela Cerna owns three guns but all have expired licenses.

Although she said she has no plan to seize the lawyer's guns, she urged him to immediately process the renewal of those firearms.

Vinluan's reaction came after lawyer Regal Oliva, president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu City Chapter, asked lawyers to learn self-defense and carry guns to protect themselves.

Oliva hailed dela Cerna's bravery in fighting back the two motorcycle-riding gunmen using his firearm.

Dela Cerna was wounded in his right forearm during the incident, but he was able to fire back at his assailants who fled after the attack.

After the incident, he rushed to the Waterfront Police Station at the Pier 1 here where he was interviewed by the station policemen and members of the media.

Waterfront cops later escorted dela Cerna with patrol cars on his way home.

Source: Philippines News Agency