Lawyer dies in ‘accidental shooting’ inside his car in Malaybalay

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/07 October) – Circumstances surrounding the death Tuesday of a lawyer in Malaybalay City have remained unclear as police were yet to locate and get the statement of one of his two companions at the time of the incident.

Atty. Pepito Suello, a lawyer from Cebu who also had a residence at NHA Phase 3 Subdivision in Barangay Casisang here, died in what local police initially described as “accidental shooting” inside his car at around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

In an interview Wednesday morning with dxDB-Malaybalay, City police director Supt. Henry Dampal explained they saw no indications that he was shot from outside.

Suello said that at the time of the incident, Suello was driving his car along with Atty. Alvie Damasco and one Fernando Makalintal from his house in NHA Phase 3. Damasco and Suello belonged to the same law firm.

Dampal quoted Damasco as saying that about a hundred meters away from Suello’s house he felt like sleeping when he heard gunshots and noticed that the car was swerving out of control.

Damasco took over the wheel and brought Suello to the Malaybalay General Polymedic Hospital, the police official said, adding the victim sustained gunshot wounds in the head and breast.

He said Damasco had given an initial statement on the incident and volunteered to undergo a paraffin test. Makalintal, however, remained “at large”.

He said he sent some policemen to Impasugong, Bukidnon where Makalintal, who reportedly hails from Batangas, has a temporary residence but they failed to locate him.

Dampal said they recovered spent shells of a 9mm pistol and a 380 pistol in Suello’s bag inside the car. No 9mm pistol was found.

The police official clarified they initially called it “accidental shooting” since the two lawyers were said to be close and belonged to the same law firm. He added they can only give a complete picture of the incident once they get the statement of Makalintal.

He said they have asked Makalintal’s mother to convince her son to submit himself to an investigation. (H. Marcos C. Mordeno/MindaNews)