Lawyer handling drug cases shot dead in Palawan

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—A lawyer handling high-profile and controversial cases in Palawan province was shot and killed by a lone gunman here on Tuesday, police said.

Witnesses said the victim, Hermie Aban, 41, had just left his house on his motorcycle when he was attacked by the gunman, who was on another motorcycle, at 8:30 a.m. in Barangay Bancao-Bancao.

Aban was taken to the Cooperative Hospital here by a team from the city government but he died while undergoing treatment.

Vice Mayor Luis Marcaida III, a friend and former classmate of Aban’s, went to the hospital but declined to issue any statement to reporters.

“We heard four shots. Then we saw Attorney Aban lying bloodied [on a grassy portion along the road],” a village official told reporters.

Police have yet to identify the suspect.

Aban served as one of the lawyers of detained former Gov. Joel Reyes. The former governor is facing a murder charge for the 2011 killing of Dr. Gerry Ortega, an environmentalist and radio broadcaster who exposed the alleged misuse of funds from the Malampaya natural gas project.

Aban also represented several suspects in drug-related cases in Palawan and had served as an adviser to the city government’s Task Force Banat, an antidrug body. Redempto D. Anda


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