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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesSaturday, August 11, 2012
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Professional hitmen
eyed in death of lawyer

The Tanjay City Police is investigating two leads in the fatal shooting of lawyer Manolo Zerna near his house at Legaspi Street, Barangay 9, in the city, at around 11:45 p.m. on August 3.

Supt. Ernesto Tagle, Tanjay police chief, refused to give details but only said that the gunmen were professionals, based on the way the crime was carried out.

Zerna, 48, was shot in front of his live-in partner, identified as Evelyn Acas Martinez, and their four-year-old son.

Police investigation showed that Zerna and his son were on board the motorcycle waiting for Martinez to open the gate to the house, when two men on another motorcycle stopped behind them, and the backrider shot the lawyer twice, but missed. The same person then got off the motorcycle and shot Zerna several times at close range, with a .45 caliber revolver, the police said.

Zerna was declared dead on arrival at the Urgent Care Clinic in Tanjay City. Martinez and the boy were not harmed.

Seven spent shells of .45 caliber revolver and a deformed slug were recovered at the crime scene.

Tagle said they have requested the PNP Crime Laboratory for ballistics test on the slugs.

The result will determine whether the killers were involved in previous shooting cases in Tanjay or elsewhere in the province, he added.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Negros Oriental chapter, meanwhile, denounced the brutal killing of Zerna.*JFP

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