2 men shoot to death ex-governor’s lawyer

>> Sunday, April 27, 2008

By Jack Turqueza

BANGUED, Abra – A trial lawyer here was gunned down by two motorcycle-riding assassins in his law office-residence here afternoon of April 20.

The killers immediately fled, riding a motorcycle with no plate number.

Police identified the victim as lawyer Demetrio Pre, 65, of Zone 4, this town. He was shot twice in the head with a caliber .45 pistol and died on the spot.

Police investigation showed Pre was talking with a client, identified as Bernardo Bañez, 71, of Zone 2, this town, when he was attacked.

Bañez was reportedly asking the lawyer about the supposed court hearing last week on a civil case involving a land dispute the former had filed against Charmine Burgos in 2000 when the assassins barged in the office and fired at Pre.

Lawmen theorized that the motive in the murder of Pre might have something to do with a land problem.

Probers said their investigation is focused on efforts to identify the killers.

Cordillera police spokesman Supt. Arni Dean Emock said Bangued policemen who are now investigating the assassination initially found out Pre was attending to a client named Bernardo Bañes, 71, when the two gunmen barged inside the law office and shot the lawyer twice in the head. “They were conversing with his client when the incident occurred,” Emock said.

The lawyer suffered two gunshot wounds from a .45 caliber firearm on his forehead and left eye.

The gunmen who are now being hunted, police said, fled aboard a motorcycle.
Pre was rushed to the Seares Memorial Clinic but was pronounced dead-on-arrival by attending physicians.

The slain lawyer was brought to the Tamo Funeral Parlor, also in Bangued town for autopsy.

Emock said investigators are looking at the possibility that the slaying is related to a land dispute where the 75-year old lawyer is involved.

But reliable sources said that police should look into other angles like possible vendetta against him because he was one of the lawyers of former governor Vicente Valera who was tagged as brains in the December 2006 killing of then Abra Rep. Luis Bersamin and other alleged political killings in the province.

Abra police director Senior Supt. Alexander Pumecha said they are on their toes for the early solution of the killing. Several hours after Pre’s slaying, and just a few steps from the crime scene, 32-year old security guard Efren Bersalona was slain inside the town hall in Bangued.


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