Wee murder case: âTriggermanâ confesses, squeals mastermind
National Bureau of Investigation-7 probe into the killing of lawyer Joey Wee.

Wee murder case: ‘Triggerman’ confesses, squeals mastermind

Fred P. Languido (The Freeman) - January 18, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  One of the six persons accused in the murder of Lawyer Joey Luis Wee has confessed to the killing and named a retired military official as the alleged mastermind.

Fausto Edgar Benigno Peralta, 55, who was arrested by the operatives of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Cabuyao, Laguna on December 10, 2020, confirmed he was Wee’s triggerman.

Admitting he was bothered by his conscience, Peralta executed a 30-page judicial affidavit before the NBI investigators. He was assisted by Lawyers Jose Glenn Capanas and Mary Grace Casano of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Cebu City Chapter.

“Binabagabag po ako ng aking konsensiya,” he told his assisting counsels.

Peralta, a former military man, said that retired Army Lt. Col. Edwin Layese contracted them for P400,000 to kill Wee and his wife. He was given P60,000 down payment but only received a net amount of P40,000 in Cavite because of he had already advanced some amount. The remaining balance was allegedly paid to them by Layese after Wee was killed.

The contract was made through John Raymond Suarez, his alleged backup shooter, and Randy Palparan. Aside from Suarez and Palparan, there were two unidentified people who assisted them during the killing. Charges for murder have already been filed before the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City against Peralta, Suarez, Palparan, and three unidentified persons.

Peralta said the original plan was to kill the couple but Layese allegedly gave them a last minute instruction to spare the wife. He did not know why and what were Layese’s motives in ordering the killing.

“Sabi lang po marami daw atraso at ‘maldito’ daw po. Basta ang utos ni Col. Layese ay siguradohin na patay si Atty. Wee hindi bale maraming bala basta siguradong patay,” Peralta’s affidavit reads.

Peralta said his plane ticket from Ilocos, where he was assigned as security supervisor of a security agency, including the necessary travel documents amid the quarantine protocols implemented by the government due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic were provided to them. Upon arrival in Cebu, he was billeted at a pension house in Mandaue City. Peralta said the firearms he and Suarez used were provided to them by Palparan.

Wee was shot dead in front of a building where his law office is located in Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City at past 1 p.m. on November 23.

Gupana ambush

Peralta said that killing Wee was not his first transaction with Layese. He also admitted to the foiled assassination of Lawyer James Joseph Gupana on October 10, 2020 in Barangay Pajac, Lapu-Lapu City.

Peralta said they were contracted for P150,000 to kill Gupana but the latter survived in the ambush. Gupana was driving his Toyota Hilux on his way to his office in Barangay Centro, Mandaue City. According to Peralta, what he heard was Layese had a personal grudge with Gupana.

In custody

NBI-7 regional director Rennan Augustus Oliva confirmed that Layese is now in their custody and will be formally presented to the media today. Details of Layese’s arrest will be provided during his formal presentation this morning.

However, Oliva confirmed that Layese was a retired member of the Philippine Army with a rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He graduated from the Philippine Military Academy in 1994. He was also the former regional director of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Region 6. He was dismissed from the service in 2012 by the Civil Service Commission for lack of eligibility. (FREEMAN)

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