The vice president of Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Bohol Chapter and dean of the University of Bohol Criminology Department dodged death in a broad daylight attempt.

Lawyer Dodelon Sabijon, 39, was just about five meters away from his office at the second floor of Sarabia and Torralba Bldg. along CPG Avenue in Tagbilaran City a few minutes past eight o’clock yesterday morning when an unidentified man fired at him from the lower part of the stairway.

Sabijon was already on the 13th of the 16 steps of the stairway to the second floor of the building when the gun man fired the first shot, hitting him on the back of the iliac region and the bullet went through the lower left portion of the abdomen.

Sabijon hurriedly turned left straight towards his office. The gunman pursued and tried to catch up on him.

Jun Arabiano and Armand Cabaral, the carpenters commissioned to do some repairs in the office, said they were fixing something by the doorside when they heard a gunfire shortly before noticing Sabijon coming in hurriedly.

Cabaral saw a man firing at Sabijon from behind. But the lawyer was already inside the office when the gunshot hit the glass door.

They had no idea then which shot hit the lawyer—the one they heard earlier or the one that they saw hitting the glass door.

Cabaral said Sabijon instructed him, his law firm partner—lawyer Josie Cempron, and the office staff to close and lock the door right away because a man has just shot him.

Cabaral immediately closed the door, but no longer managed to lock it.

Cabaral said Sabijon grabbed him and they crawled towards the lavatory near the comfort room and hid behind him, saying they need to call the police.

The carpenter struggled to get away from Sabijon’s grip in the arms and sought cover behind the lavatory, while Sabijon and Cempron went inside the comfort room to hide.

Cabaral heard Sabijon and Cempron having a hard time contacting the police through their cellphones while inside the comfort room and later opted to call someone and asked that person to contact the TARSIER 117 and relayed the incident.

Sabijon was already rushed by TARSIER 117 to Ramiro Community Hospital when responding police team led by SPO1 Anecito Rulona and Police Inspector Adriano Bacus arrived the crime scene.

The Provincial Public Safety Company later came to help in the hot pursuit.

Arabiano, Cabral, and the office staff told investigators that they heard two bursts of gunfire at an interval of ten seconds. The second one was the one that broke the glass door.

Cabaral said he saw the gunman observing by the doorway for about two minutes before leaving, still holding the gun with his right hand while clipping it in the left armpit.

He said the gunman who was already about 40 years old had light build, dark complexion, about five feet and three-four inches tall, with straight black hair, broad face and large nose.

Cabaral said the gunman was wearing a black jacket, maong pants and shoes, and was bringing a small sling bag.

He said he could recognize that the gunman’s firearm was a cal. 45 pistol.

He said the gunman must have thought that they had locked the door, that’s why he just stayed at the doorway and no longer attempted to pursue inside.

The security guard in the nearby building and other witnesses said they saw another man waiting on a motorcycle along the road and suspected that he must be the look-out of the gunman because he kept on looking around and was uneasy.

In fact, he hurriedly left with a man that got out from the building–whom they later realized must be the gunman–almost leading to an accident.

In the one-month period that they have been doing repair in Sabijon’s office, they had not seen the gunman yet prior to the incident, Cabaral said.

Responding cops found a slug from a .45-caliber pistol with blood stain on the 13th step of the stairway, while another slug of the same caliber was recovered upstairs near the doorway.

In his investigation report, Rulona stated that they received a telephone call from somebody informing about the incident at around 8:25 a.m. yesterday, and immediately proceeded to the crime scene to verify the report.

Sabijon is now safe, except for minor inconvenience of incapacity to move his left leg for a while after the operation.

Sabijon, who is from the town of Danao, is renting a unit at Soledad Apartment in the city.

Investigators are looking into all the cases he is handling since the lawyer said there could be no personal reasons behind the incident.(with reports from Weli Maestrado and Rey Tutas)


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