Olongapo lawyer shot dead

Randy Datu

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Lawyer Ian Vela Cruz had just come from Saturday mass at an Iglesia ni Cristo chapel when he was shot by a lone gunman

OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines  – A lawyer handling the case of rogue Olongapo cops who kidnapped and extorted money from relatives of teen actor Jake Vargas was shot dead Saturday night, May 18, in front of his house.

Authorities told Rappler that a lone gunman shot lawyer Ian Vela Cruz, married and with two children, thrice — once in the head. Another man served as a lookout. The gunman later boarded a black Yamaha Mio motorcycle that was driven by an unidentified accomplice.

Vela Cruz was a resident of 25-C East Bajac Bajac village. He was shot in front of his house at 845 pm Saturday. The victim, who had just come from a nearby Iglesia ni Cristo chapel, was taken to the St. Jude hospital in this city where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

A source in the law office where Vela Cruz worked told Rappler that the lawyer had been working on a case filed by relatives of teen actor Jake Vargas who were kidnapped by at least 5 rogue Olongapo cops last year.

The relatives of Vargas filed a case of kidnapping and extortion against the 5 Olongapo cops after the actor’s brother and sister-in-law were abducted by the cops and then released after being paid P200,000.

Vargas’ relatives said the cops forcibly entered their home, falsely accused them of holding a pot session and extorted money from them. – Rappler.com

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