Philippine government prosecutor shot dead in Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA (UKTN) — Filipino officials mourned a government attorney who was shot and killed in Philadelphia on Monday and called for the perpetrator to be brought to justice.

John Albert Laylo and his mother were heading to the airport for boarding early Saturday when someone in a black car fired multiple bullets into their Uber at a red light near the University of Pennsylvania, police said. Laylo was shot in the back of the neck and taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Sunday, police said.

Philippine Consul General Elmer Cato met Laylo’s mother at the hospital and said she was lightly injured by shards of glass in the shooting.

It was unclear if the Uber driver was injured. No one has been arrested. Authorities have not revealed an alleged motive or whether Laylo, his mother or the Uber driver were intentionally targeted. Homicide detectives investigate and search for surveillance video.

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The Philippine Consulate General said the victim was an attorney for its government, Philadelphia’s KYW-TV reported.

Cato said he assured Laylo’s mother that the Philippine government would help bring her remains home. “We are also in contact with the law enforcement authorities and have stressed the importance of our request that they bring the perpetrator of this incident to justice,” Cato said in a statement.

Laylo, 35, had worked in Manila as a legislative staffer for opposition Senator Leila de Lima from 2016 to 2018, then left to undertake higher education. “He was so young and still full of dreams,” de Lima said in Manila on Monday and expressed hope that the suspect would be immediately held accountable “for this brutal and senseless act.”

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Laylo’s mother posted on Facebook on Sunday, saying she was on vacation with her son, whom she called Jal.

“I never imagined or dreamed that … the end of our vacation will be like this!” Leah Bustamante Laylo wrote in an article accompanied by snapshots of her and her son on tour in New York, Washington and Philadelphia. “We traveled together and we are supposed to go back together! I’ll be bringing it home in a box soon!

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Cato, who is based in New York, said the mother and son were on their way to Philadelphia International Airport to catch a flight to Chicago and then had to fly to California en route to Manila.

They were in Philadelphia to visit his cousin, and the shooting happened about five minutes after Laylo and his mother left his cousin’s apartment, Cato said.

Philadelphia, along with other major US cities, is experiencing an upsurge in gun violence. In a notable June 4 episode, a gunfight in the South Street entertainment district, about 3 miles from the shooting that killed Laylo, left three dead and several injured.

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