De Lima saddened by report that ex-staff was killed in random US shooting

Detained Senator Leila de Lima on Monday, June 20 extended her sympathies to the family of her former legislative staff, Atty. John “Jal” Laylo, who was killed in a random shooting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Laylo, according to de Lima, “is a man of high energy and vibrant spirit.” She said she was shocked and saddened upon hearing his untimely passing.

Laylo was shot while traveling in an Uber car with his mother, Leah Laylo, in Philadelphia to visit their relatives in the United States last June 19. Mrs. Laylo sustained shrapnel wounds when the assailant fired six shots through a window of the vehicle.

“My deepest condolences on Jal's untimely passing. He was so young and still full of dreams. He was part of my legislative team for two years before he left to pursue his Masters,” de Lima said in her message addressed to the bereaved family.

“Isang mabuting tao at mahusay na katrabaho (He is a good person and an efficient colleague). A man of high energy and vibrant spirit. No words can ease the pain that you are feeling right now but I pray that Jal's beautiful memories will give you comfort in this difficult time,” she added.

In a Facebook post, Mrs. Laylo said she cannot explain the heaviness in her heart after her son’s death, but said she “thank God for the 35 years of his life” and that she “is beyond grateful for having a good, smart, generous, loving, caring son.”

In a statement posted on Twitter, the lawmaker expressed hopes US authorities would ensure that the suspect in the shooting incident would be held accountable for the brutal and senseless act.

“Walang puwang dapat ang ganitong karahasan sa mundo. Dapat mapanagot agad ang maysala at matigil na ang ganitong mga karumal-dumal na krimen (Such violence has no place in the world. Those assialants should be held accountable and this kind of violence must stop),” she said.