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Triggerman in Wee murder applies for state witness
Atty. Rennan Oliva, director of National Bureau of Investigation-7, said the arrested triggerman, former military Fausto Edgar Peralta, wants to be a state witness following his extrajudicial confession.
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Triggerman in Wee murder applies for state witness

Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - January 20, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The triggerman in the daylight murder of lawyer Joey Luis Wee last Nov. 23 has applied to be a state witness while the man pointed to as the “supervisor” to the killing has been given 15 days to issue his counter-affidavit.

Atty. Rennan Oliva, director of National Bureau of Investigation-7, said the arrested triggerman, former military Fausto Edgar Peralta, wants to be a state witness following his extrajudicial confession.

“Nisuwat siya (Peralta) sa IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) asking for assistance kay nakonsensiya sa panghitabo. But it is up to the court to decide kung pwede ba siya o dili. We already advised him of that. Kahibaw siya ana. In fact, ang IBP ni-inform,” Oliva told reporters yesterday.

Peralta pointed retired colonel and former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency director Edwin Layese as the contractor and supervisor in Wee's murder. In that capacity, Layese is believed to be the one who negotiated with the mastermind.

Layese is now in the NBI’s custody.

Asked if Peralta is qualified to be a state witness considering that he was positively identified as the primary triggerman, Oliva said it's up to the court to decide.

“It is the level of the court to decide kung gamiton ba siya. Of course, with the concurrence of the prosecutor's office kay ang prosecutor's office man ang mo-prosecute. So ang value sa iyang testimony makatabang ba sa kaso against the other co-accused,” said Oliva.

Investigation has revealed that people behind Wee’s murder, at least those identified, were also behind the attempted murder of another lawyer, James Gupana, in Lapu-Lapu City October last year.

Oliva said they are awaiting Layese's counter-affidavit to refute the accusations hurled against him.

“Ni-waiver siya, meaning, tagaan siya sa prosecutor's office up to January 25 to submit sa iyang counter-affidavit. Then the prosecutor's office will decide based sa among gi-file nga kaso ug sa ilang counter-affidavit,” Oliva said.

NBI-7 operatives arrested Layese during the service of a search warrant against his vehicle, which was caught in the CCTV during Wee's murder. He yielded an unregistered firearm, although authorities are still awaiting the warrant of arrest for that charge against him.

Oliva, meanwhile, said several individuals have coordinated with the NBI and shared “additional information” about Wee's murder.

One of them claimed that Raymond Suarez, who was first pointed to be the back-up person of Peralta during the execution of Wee's killing, also had a standing arrest warrant.

But even with the arrest of Peralta and Layese, Oliva said they are not yet inclined to considering Wee's murder as a closed case since four other participants, including Suarez and Randy Palparan, are still at large.

“Dili pa. In fact, naa pa sad ilang mga kauban, si Suarez, si Palparan, still at large. Naa pay gi-mention nga another name, who is in possession sa gigamit nga firearms, gipangita pa karon so naa pay upat, plus ang mastermind,” said Oliva.  — JMD (FREEMAN)

MURDER
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