MANILA, Aug. 7 — The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) called on law enforcement agencies to expedite investigation and arrest of the culprits to bring justice to the family of the killing of judge in Butuan City.
Judge Godofredo Abul Jr., 68, of the Butuan City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 4 was fatally hit on his head while his wife Bernadeth, 65, was wounded in the attack.
“The IBP sees the killing of Judge Abul as a stain against the Rule of Law. We view all judges as members of our profession-one that is sworn to protect everyone’s right to life, liberty and property. Any life – be it innocent or guilty – does not deserve to be taken away so lightly by unaccountable assassins,” read the IBP statement signed by its new national president Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo.
“Summary and violent death sentences administered by unknown individuals is no substitute for a working judicial system,” it added.
The IBP also called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to resolve the case immediately amid the mounting unresolved deaths in the country.
“We are committed to upholding the judicial process and work against those who applaud its erosion. We call on our law enforcement authorities to take all necessary steps to ensure that the killers and their principals are found so that they may be brought to justice,” it added.
The mandatory organization of lawyers in the country also supported the call of the Supreme Court for law enforcement agencies to expedite the probe and bring the culprits to the hands of justice.
The couple were about to leave their house at Alviola Village in Barangay Tiniwisan before 10 a.m. on Saturday when the gunman entered through the open gate of their garage and opened fire.
Witnesses said the gunman fled on a motorcycle driven by his cohort.
Abul succumbed to four gunshot wounds. His wife Bernadeth was initially taken to the Butuan City Medical Center, but was transferred to a private hospital where she was treated for wounds on her shoulder and leg.
The judge was suspended for six months in February over an extortion case filed by a Catholic priest, whose relative is facing drug charges.
Abul was the second judge in Caraga region killed this year.
Retired Surigao City judge Victor Canoy was gunned down while buying food at an eatery along Borja street last Feb. 2.
Meanwhile, Caraga Police Regional Director Chief Superintendent Rolando B. Felix immediately ordered the creation of a special investigation task group to assist in the investigation to identify and go after the assailants.