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Espinosa’s lawyer dies in ambush

Gunmen shot dead a lawyer of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, the ambush also led to the death of a 15-year old female student who was inside the car when the attack occurred in Tac-loban City yesterday afternoon.

Senior Supt. Rolando Bade, director of the Tacloban City police, said the gunmen was onboard a white pick-up when they repeatedly shot the driver seat side of the vehicle of lawyer Rogelio Bato using M16 rifles and .45 pistols.

Bade said Bato was driving the vehicle along a one-way road in Barangay 96 in Lumbang, Tacloban City at around 2 p.m. when the pick up boarding the suspects appeared.

“They then shot the vehicle of Attorney Bato. The vehicle then maneuvered out of the one-way road and sped off,” said Bade in a phone interview.

But the ambush also resulted in the death of 15-year old high-school student (name withheld) who was with Bato and was sitting at the passenger seat beside the driver’s seat.

“Each of them was hit at least five times. They died on the spot,” said Police Officer 2 Harvey Subido, a member of the local Scene of the Crime Operative (SOCO).

“We recovered at least 10 empty shells for M16 rifle. We are still accounting for other emty shells which appear to be coming from a .45 pistol,” he added.

Bade confirmed that Bato is one of the lawyers of Espinosa.

Quoting result of the initial investigation, Bade said the victim appeared to have just come from the house of Bato which is located near the ambush site.

He said the ambush site is not a populated area, which is being eyed as the reason why the attack was held there.