PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Officials from the Republic of the Philippines are in Philadelphia Tuesday after the murder of John Albert Laylo, a prominent government attorney in the Philippines. Top diplomats from that country are speaking exclusively to CBS3 as they search for answers.
Consul General Elmer Cato and the Philippines Embassy Police officials are in Philadelphia meeting with Mayor Jim Kenney. They’re here to express their anger, frustration and concern.
DEVELOPING: Consulate General of the Republic of the Philippines Elmer Cato and the Philippines Embassy Police are meeting now with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney following the weekend murder of John Albert Laylo, a prominent government attorney. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/4fI4opzuR5
— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) June 21, 2022
Kenney on Tuesday afternoon made his first public remarks on the killing over the weekend of a prominent attorney from the Philippines who was visiting the city with his mom.
“It was tragic. It’s a tragic loss of life. It is not necessary,” Kenney said. “Every loss of life in our city and across the country is ridiculous.”
The mayor described his meeting with senior diplomatic representatives from the Philippines as sad.
“They were very upset. The community is very upset,” Kenney said. “You don’t expect to go on vacation and not come home.”
Before meeting with the mayor, top diplomats representing the Philippines met exclusively with CBS3. Their trip concerns the murder of Laylo, a prominent government attorney.
“We’re here basically to convey the family’s request for justice,” Cato said. “We requested to meet with the mayor and the police commissioner and we’re glad that they will be receiving us today.”
Cato conveyed the message a grieving mother has for our city’s leaders.
“She wants us to tell the mayor her anguish and her anger over what happened,” Cato said. “They’re just visitors here, having a good time, being with their cousin, it ended so tragically. This is what they wanted to convey to the mayor. They’re hoping that they would be assisted in getting justice for our fellow Filipino who lost his life here in a very senseless incident.”
The sit-down with Philadelphia officials comes three days after police say someone fired into an Uber that Laylo and his mother were taking to Philadelphia International Airport.
Police on Monday night told CBS3 they’re led to believe the shooter must have fired into the wrong car — what they say amounts to a case of mistaken identity.
“In this case, it’s really very unfortunate for John and his mother to go through this,” Cato said. “We hope authorities will do everything they could to get a suspect and bring him to justice. That’s the message we want to convey to the leadership of the city.”
Philadelphia police have not said anything on camera at all concerning the high-profile investigation that has drawn the attention of senior diplomatic officials from Asia.
“My government would want to convey its request to the city for them to take action in this case,” Cato said. “This something that is really important to us so we hope that we would get the assurance of the mayor and police commissioner that they would do everything they can and get the perpetrator and bring him to justice.”
“They are,” Cato said. “Many Filipinos are as well.”
It’s hoped Laylo’s remains can be flown back to the Philippines next week.
Police are looking to catch up with people riding in a black Cadillac, believed to be connected to the fatal shooting.