TACLOBAN CITY: The legal counsel of embattled Albuera (Leyte) Mayor Rolando Espinosa was gunned down on Tuesday afternoon in this city.
Police identified the victim as Rogelio Bato. Also killed was Angelica Bonita, 15, a high school student who was with the lawyer inside the Toyota Hilux during the shooting in Lumbang 2 village.
Senior Supt. Rolando Bade, city police chief, said the victims suffered multiple gunshot wounds when the assailants riding a white van without a license plate opened fire at them using a caliber 45 pistol and an M-16 rifle.
A manhunt for the suspects has been launched.
“We still need to conduct investigation if the incident is related to illegal drugs,” Bade said.
Chief Supt. Elmer Beltejar, Eastern Visayas police regional director, earlier confirmed that Bato is one of the professionals being probed for their alleged link to the illegal drug trade.
The lawyer has been the legal counsel of the Espinosa family.
He reportedly helped in the dismissal of several drug-related cases of Kerwin, the mayor’s son.
Bato also provided legal services to some drug suspects in Eastern Visayas.