Mother of slain Filipino lawyer in Philadelphia shooting seeks justice

Elmer Cato, consul general of the Philippines in New York, consoles Leah Bustamante Laylo, mother of John Albert, who was still in critical condition. (Photo courtesy of Elmer Cato)

MANILA, Philippines — Leah Bustamante Laylo, mother of the Filipino lawyer who was fatally shot in Philadelphia on Sunday, amplified her call for justice for her son’s death.

She and her 35-year-old son, John Albert or “Jal,” were on their way to the Philadelphia International Airport via Uber car when the latter sustained a fatal shot in the head. They were traveling in the United States to visit relatives, and were initially bound to come back to the Philippines on Saturday, July 2.


“Hindi ko matanggap hanggang ngayon,” Laylo said in an interview with ABS-CBN News’ Kabayan on Wednesday. “Ang gusto ko, magkaroon ng justice. Kasi hindi po namin deserve ‘yong ganito eh. Namamasyal lang kami. Naglilibang lang kaming mag-ina.”


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(Until now, I still cannot accept it. What I want is for justice to be served, because we don’t deserve this. We were just visiting. My son and I were touring around the area for leisure.)

Laylo added that they are currently working on having her son’s remains repatriated, hopefully by next week, as many of their loved ones in the Philippines await his return.

“Trying hard po [ako] na magpakatatag kasi iuuwi ko po. Gusto ko pong iuwi para po sa pamilya namin. Marami pong naghihintay sa kanya. Napakarami po. Pamilya niya. Close friends niya. Marami pong nagawang mabuti ‘tong anak ko kaya nakakapanghinayang,” she further noted.

The Philippine Consul General in New York Elmer Cato said Tuesday that the incident “could be a case of mistaken identity, according to police sources.”


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