Persons of interest in killing of lawyer in Bukidnon identified, police says

Jul. 31, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — Police on Wednesday said they already have a list of persons of interest that could point to the identity of the killers of a lawyer in Valencia City, Bukidnon last Sunday.

“We have narrowed down our investigation to a very few persons of interest,” said Valencia police chief Colonel Surki Sereñas in a telephone interview.

Sereñas, however, did not divulge the names and other details of those individuals who may have a role or might have knowledge in the shooting of lawyer Nicolas Gomez Jr.

Among the possible motives in the lawyer’s killing, he said they have set their focus on the land dispute that Gomez and his family are reportedly in involved in.

“The killing was very likely motivated by land conflict,” Sereñas said, adding that Gomez was one of the claimants in the real estate property litigation in Valencia and Maramag town in Bukidnon.

He added: “We already have gathered information, including CCTV footage, eyewitness accounts, circumstantial evidence and physical evidence to file charges. We are just ascertaining that we have an airtight case against the principal suspects and cohorts.”

Prior to his death, Sereñas said the court hearing that Gomez was supposed to attend to in Malaybalay City on Monday was in relation to the land dispute in Maramag.

He said the land holdings which were under litigation were fought in court between Gomez and his family and a group of squatters.

In a separate interview, Wednesday, Bukidnon provincial police director Col. Roel Lamiing said they have in their list more than two persons of interest, the identities of which was based on the information gathered by law enforcement operatives and interviews of people who are familiar with Gomez and those involved in the land dispute.

“We are backtracking, trying to trace the perpetrators. We already have a lead,” Lamiing said. He did not elaborate.

He added Gomez’s remains will be brought to Manila and will then be transported to the United States where his siblings are residing. (

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