Land row case seen in lawyer’s slay plot

Land row case seen in lawyer’s slay plot

It could be out of desperation that a party in a land dispute designed a slay plot against the  vice president of Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Bohol Chapter and dean of University of Bohol Criminology Department.

Police Provincial Director Constantino Barot Jr. disclosed that investigators started getting an idea on the person behind the shooting incident after studying the land dispute cases where lawyer Dodelon Sabijon, 39  is representing a party. It was also based on the statements of Sabijon himself.

In fact, the identity of the suspect might be concluded this week and that the complaint will soon be filed before the fiscal’s office.

Police said the suspect could not be a hired gunman but was the person involved in the case. The suspect who pumped one bullet that slightly hit the young lawyer who was on the stairs leading to his office at the Torralba-Co-Sarabia building last Tuesday past 8 in the morning.

Until presstime, Police Inspector David Niluag, chief investigator of Tagbilaran City Police, said that they would with held the identity of the suspect who was positively identified by the lawyer.

Niluag said Sabijon is still recuperating at home after the operation, and they are still waiting for his full recovery. By then the lawyer might be able to give them additional information that could help in the investigation.

Sabijon  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 Tuesday 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 hurried up to the last three steps and turned left straight towards his office. The gunman pursued close behind 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 with a gun right behind Sabijon. Almost simultaneous to his last stride past the glass door, Sabijon instructed the carpenters to open the door and for them to get inside and to shut and lock the door immediately because a man had just shot him.

Indeed, another gunfire went off and that was before the very eyes of Cabaral while Sabijon was grabbing him so they could crawl towards the lavatory near the comfort room of the office.

The gunshot broke the glass door just as they had closed it. But Cabaral no longer managed to lock it.

He said 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 to find cover because the gunman might still be there.

He said Sabijon hid behind him and said 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 broad nose.

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

Cabaral recognized 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.

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.

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.

He wanted to jot down the plate number of the motorcycle so he could report it to authorities as “suspicious”, but he only saw the cardboard scribbled with “for registration”.

After a while, the motorcycle’s driver hurriedly left with a man who got out from the building–whom they later realized must be the gunman, and they almost met an accident in haste to leave.

Responding cops found a slug from a .45-caliber pistol with blood stain on the 13thstep 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. that day, 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 barangay Poblacion in the town of Danao, is renting a unit at Soledad Apartment in the city where he had been living peacefully.


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