Visiting Filipino lawyer shot dead in Philadelphia

The Manila Collegian
3 min readJul 1, 2022


By The News Team

Photo from Central European University

A 35-year-old Filipino government lawyer, Atty. John Albert Laylo, was fatally shot in the head while traveling in an Uber car with his mother in Philadelphia. Laylo died hours after being confined in a critical condition while his mother sustained minor wounds from pieces of glass that shattered when shots were fired, one hitting Atty. Laylo in the head.

The Incident

On June 19, Atty. Laylo and his mother, Leah Bustamante Laylo, were riding a black Nissan Altima Uber on their way to the airport to fly to Chicago to visit their relatives. The Uber car was then targeted by an unknown gunman, allegedly riding a black Maxima, according to the Philadelphia Police report.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the gunman came up from behind the Uber and began shooting into the car of the victims. The gunman then pulled up along the driver’s side and fired more shots before leaving. A total of six shots were fired and one of these had hit Atty. Laylo in the back of his head.

The late lawyer was pronounced dead at 10:33 a.m. the same day, according to his mother’s Facebook page. A GoFundMe page has also been organized by Atty. Laylo’s family to cover any funeral and related expenses.

Case of mistaken identity

According to the Philippine Consul General in New York Elmer Cato, in a tweet last June 20, citing police sources, the Philadelphia shooting incident that killed Atty. Laylo could be a case of mistaken identity.

Cato furthered that the police sources had said that the gunman appeared to have fired at the wrong vehicle that was similar to what he was chasing.

Previously, Cato had told that the Philippine Consulate General in New York was in touch with local authorities and has reached out to others who may have any leads on the shooting.

Cato also met with Philadelphia’s mayor, Jim Kenney, and the Philadelphia Police Department whom he thanked in a tweet “for their assurance that they will do everything they can to bring to justice whoever is responsible for the death [of John Albert Laylo].”

An esteemed lawyer

Atty. Laylo, who was known to his friends as Jal, was a 35-year-old Filipino government lawyer who worked as a legal manager at Desarrollos Terrestres, a multinational telecommunications infrastructure company based in the Philippines.

He graduated from the De La Salle University College of Law. After he passed the bar in 2014, he went to the Central European University (CEU) in Vienna to get his Master of Laws in International Business Law.

In a personal tribute written by Tibor Tajti, Atty. Laylo’s former professor, Atty. Laylo was not only an outstanding student from all perspectives, but was also a steadfast friend of CEU, both during his studies and after his graduation. He furthered that the late lawyer was the cohesive force who molded the cohort into the unforgettable group of students they became.

Moreover, the Filipino community in Philadelphia held a vigil on June 21 outside of Penn Presbyterian Medical Center to honor Atty. Laylo’s memory and provide support to his mother.

Meanwhile, Atty. Laylo’s sister, Althea, posted a tribute on Twitter for her brother.

“You are the love of my life and no one can take that away from you,” Althea posted. “I will chase after my dreams as you have always pushed me to. I’m not gonna let you down,” she added.



The Manila Collegian

The Official Student Publication of the University of the Philippines Manila. Magna est veritas et prevaelebit.